10 Potential January Transfer Targets for Manchester City
In just over three months' time, the January transfer window will open, and as always, speculation will be rife about just who Manchester City will target as possible additions to their squad.
In my opinion, the January transfer window is an awkward one, especially for clubs like City who will more than likely still be involved in European competition.
If they're adding to the squad, it'll more than likely be players who can play in the latter stages of either the Champions League or the Europa League.
Of course, there's always the possibility that they'll target players coming to the end of their contract, regardless of where they're playing.
Over the next few slides, I'll look at 10 potential signings for City in January.
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This is probably more of a long-term signing than a quick fix, but Jack Butland is another highly rated England internationalist.
Butland has had a meteoric rise to fame so far, considering that he played his first competitive match as a professional just over a year ago when he was on loan at Cheltenham.
Without being disrespectful to the other keepers at City, Butland will provide stiffer competition for Joe Hart than either Richard Wright or Costel Pantilimon could.
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Ryan Shawcross might be impetuous and naive at times, but when he's on form, he's one of the better centre-halves in the Premier League.
He was signed from Stoke on a permanent deal from Manchester United after a successful loan period four years ago.
Since then, under Tony Pulis, he's become one of the most sound defenders in the league.
With Joleon Lescott in and out of the side and Kolo Toure apparently out of favour, Shawcross would be an excellent addition to the City squad.
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His proposed move to Tottenham Hotspur might have fallen through on the last transfer deadline day, but it seems like it's only a matter of time before Joao Moutinho graces the English Premier League.
The skilful midfielder was one of Portugal's stand-out performers at Euro 2012, and his form at Porto over the last couple of years has rightfully attracted attention.
Signing someone like Moutinho to play alongside his fellow countryman Javi Garcia or Gareth Barry would free up Yaya Toure to play further up the pitch, where he's far more effective and dynamic.
Moutinho's ability to play anywhere across the midfield would allow him to play in any formation that manager Roberto Mancini chooses.
At 26 years of age, he's mature enough to cope with the physical demands of the Premier League, and he's approaching the prime of his career.
I wouldn't bet against the Portuguese playing in the Premier League before the season is out.
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I've said countless times that I'm not a huge fan of Theo Walcott. I just don't see what everyone else sees.
When Walcott is at his best, he's unplayable.
He's got pace to burn and an eye for goal, but at times, his final ball is atrocious and he seems to drift in and out of games.
The one thing that makes me think this move is possible is Walcott's well-publicised contract negotiations with Arsenal.
He's out of contract next summer, and judging by a report from the Daily Mail on Friday, the sides are at loggerheads over his wage demands.
Arsenal's manager Arsene Wenger has admitted that Walcott could be sold in January if they can't agree to terms, so if it's just about money, Walcott could end up at the Etihad before the end of the next transfer window.
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While Fernando Llorente might be another contract rebel, he's been linked with some of Europe's top clubs because of his talent and ability.
Sunday morning, DailyMail.co.uk reported that his current club, Athletic Bilbao, will look to cash in on the striker if he doesn't sign a new deal with them.
The report credits London rivals Arsenal and Chelsea, as well as Manchester City, with an interest in the striker.
With the report claiming that Llorente would be available at around £15 million, that's a relative bargain in today's world—and although they're well covered in terms of strikers, City would be crazy to pass up that opportunity.
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Brazilian wonderkid Neymar would be a brilliant addition to any squad, and given his talent, it seems like only a matter of time before he's at one of Europe's top clubs.
There are constantly rumours about who he's going to join and how much money he would cost, and if there's one club in the world with an almost endless pot of money, it's Manchester City.
Of all the signings that City made in the summer, there wasn't what you'd call a marquee name among them.
It almost seemed like City were just bringing in those players to beef up the squad, and I'd find it hard to believe that Roberto Mancini wanted to sign Richard Wright, for example.
Neymar would be that star name that was missing in the summer, and his talent would light up the Premier League.
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Marouane Fellaini has started this season with a bang, scoring three goals in his first five games, with a couple of assists to his credit as well.
If his form continues, Everton will have a tough time hanging on to the elegant Belgian midfielder.
The one thing that Everton can't offer him on a regular basis is Champions League football. On the other hand, with their financial muscle, City are in a position to offer him that.
If his form continues on this track, it's only a matter of time before one or more of the top-four clubs express an interest in Fellaini.
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Tony Stenson of the Daily Star reported Sunday that Liverpool have offered Daniel Agger a whopping £15 million to stay at Anfield in the wake of Manchester City's £20 million offer for the defender last month.
The Danish defender does have his injury problems, highlighted by the fact that he was stretchered off in Liverpool's defeat to Manchester United on Sunday.
However, Agger's performances and reputation as a top-class centre-half were enough for City to wade in with a bid for him last month, so it wouldn't be a huge surprise if they tried to pry him away from Anfield in January.
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This suggestion might seem to come out of the blue, but Alan Dzagoev was one of the bright spots of Russia's Euro 2012 squad.
The diminutive midfielder scored three goals at Euro 2012, and even though the Russians somehow managed to crash out of the tournament, his performances made him stand out from the rest.
It's tough to judge a player on just one tournament, but in June, Arsenal were credited with an interest in him (according to the Daily Mirror).
Arsene Wenger is generally a good judge of a player, so if he felt that Dzagoev could star in the Premier League, there's a fair chance he could.
I think he'd offer more of a consistent threat than Samir Nasri or James Milner, and the thought of a front five of Sergio Aguero, Carlos Tevez, David Silva, Yaya Toure and Dzagoev almost has my mouth watering.
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The last name on the list is one of the best Brazilian players of the last decade, Kaka.
Since his move to Real Madrid, it's as if he's not been the same player.
When he was at Milan, Kaka was widely regarded as a superstar, one of the best of his generation.
Whether it's due to the emergence of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as goal machines over the last few years or not, Kaka seems to have almost fallen into the background and has become a forgotten man.
What better way to re-ignite his career than by moving away from Madrid and coming to the Premier League?
Kaka still has a lot to offer, and I think he'd bring a lot to the Premier League.
Jamie Sanderson of Metro.co.uk has credited both City and Tottenham with an interest in the Brazilian, and given that City were unlucky not to sign him back in 2009, I think there's a fair chance they'll put an offer in for him when the next transfer window opens.