As a threshold matter, Navas is not leaving Sevilla on the cheap. BBC Sport reports that "City have agreed a fee with Sevilla of around £17 million plus add-ons for the Spain international winger."
While City's deep pockets are no secret, at some point Sheikh Mansour and his lieutenants need to start thinking about risk and reward with their big money signings.
And make no mistake, signing Navas is a risky proposition for two very significant reasons.
Reason #1: Navas is a head case
It is never a good harbinger for the future success when almost every news story chronicling a player signing talks about the player's mental makeup.
Yet there is BBC Sport, talking of how Navas "was held back earlier in his career by a fear of travelling away from his Andalusian home."
Speaking of fear, the sidebar to that BBC Sport story should be absolutely terrifying to City fans. Here are the lowlights, er, highlights:
- He eschewed a move to Chelsea in 2006 citing a fear of living abroad.
- He has suffered from anxiety attacks when far from home for long spells, including some incidents of leaving training.
- "Extensive counselling" seems to have mitigated the problem.
City just spent £17 million on a player who already has a history of not wanting to play outside of Spain, and who needed "extensive counselling" just to manage his homesickness while playing for a Spanish side?
Sure, his former manager, Juande Ramos, thinks it will all be okay, according to The Independent: "He will enjoy himself...(i)n England they love players that run with the ball and he is a player that responds to the crowd."
But what would you expect Ramos to say? That this move is doomed from the start? Not happening.
Wait until the notoriously patient and polite English media gets hold of Navas. You can almost hear the wags at the likes of The Guardian and The Daily Mail sharpening up their knives.
Reason #2: Signing Navas does not address City's biggest problem
Manchester City lost the Premier League title with the best defense in the league, because their finishing was inadequate and their offense too often stagnant.
So is Navas going to remedy any of that? Not likely.
Check out this broad indictment in Navas' Goal.com player profile:
"Wingers and attacking midfielders should be chipping in with goals of their own. It is an expectation which speaks for itself, but City will be hard-pressed getting a significant return from Navas. Quite simply, he is an awful finisher."
What exactly was City thinking signing this delicate flower, yanking him from the warm comforts of home to face an English winter shanking makeable chances and drawing the ire of the Etihad faithful and the British press alike?
City already has a skittish midfielder who cost a ton of money and cannot finish in Samir Nasri.
Maybe Navas is a great distributor then?
Well, he used to be.
That same Goal.com profile has a handy sidebar laying out Navas' appearances, goals and assists for Sevilla in his career.
After posting four double-digit assists totals in five seasons from 2007-08 through 2011-12, Navas managed only nine assists—in 44 appearances—in 2012-13. One goal in 44 games is not exactly scintillating, either.
Looking over the above, there is probably the temptation for the reader to say "wow, this is a real smear job...Navas is a lot better than this."
In the great words of Sinead O'Connor in (fittingly) "The Emperor's New Clothes": "maybe I was mean/but I really don't think so."