Stevan Jovetic in City sky blue? Depends on who to believe.
Manchester City might finally be ready to buck the conventional wisdom regarding the summer transfer market and make something happen.
My own malaise about the myriad fabrications and half-truths of another endless summer was well-stated by Chris Ryan on his Grantland blog.
"This summer's European football transfer window has featured the usual telephone whispers and hysterical about-faces that one can expect from a three-month spectacle fueled by secrets, lies, roughly translated radio interviews, and unimaginable amounts of money," wrote Ryan.
Ryan also accurately summed the whole process up by noting that all of these developments are, um, organic fertilizer until they actually take place.
City came firing out of the chute with the Fernandinho and Jesus Navas signings, but since then, they have seemed to shut it down.
The club bowed out of the Edinson Cavani sweepstakes early. Granted, the Citizens were still linked to plenty of other big names, but with nothing actually happening, all those names sort of get lost.
That is, perhaps, until now.
Jovetic may be one of the missing attacking pieces City manager Manuel Pellegrini admitted he needs.
Fiorentina attacker Stevan Jovetic is heavily rumored to be headed to the Etihad.
Goal.com, in fact, is reporting the deal as all but done. Paul Clennam wrote that "City have agreed to a package that meets Fiorentina's €30m (£26m) asking price, with €27m (£23.3m) set to be paid up front and a further €3m (£2.6m) to be paid in performance-related bonuses."
Chris Wheeler of the Daily Mail is no less optimistic: "City have been in talks with Fiorentina over Jovetic for some time, but it is understood the two clubs have finally agreed an initial fee of £23m that could rise by £5m in bonus payments."
ESPNFC.com's player profile of Jovetic, of course, follows the "if it bleeds, it leads" mantra by highlighting the injury history Jovetic takes with him wherever he ends up: "One of the most promising and sought after young players in Europe a couple of years ago, Jovetic had to prove himself all over again...after returning from a horrific cruciate ligament injury."
Well, 13 goals in 31 appearances (all starts) in Serie A suggest that Jovetic is healthy and set for the prime of his career.
Which, as it happens, might be spent on the blue side of Manchester.
Negredo is still in City's sights, but he will not be brought on easily or cheaply.
Manchester City's pursuit of Stevan Jovetic is going really well. Their pursuit of Sevilla attacker Alvaro Negredo?
Not so much.
ESPNFC.com notes that "Sevilla have warned Manchester City that they will have to pay the full asking price if they are to sign striker Alvaro Negredo," an asking price that, per Paul Clennam of Goal.com, is upward of £20 million.
And Chris Wheeler of the Daily Mail reports that Negredo-to-City is all but dead, if you believe Sevilla president Jose Maria del Nido.
"City...have been unable to reach a compromise deal over the Spain striker amid concerns that Sevilla are trying to ramp up the price beyond £20m," Wheeler wrote.
Del Nido was quoted by Wheeler as having threatened as follows: "Either they pay what we ask or the player stays with Sevilla for another three years."
"You come on like a flame, then you turn a cold shoulder..."
Zlatan Ibrahimovic leaving Paris Saint-Germain for Manchester City seems like a pretty absurd idea, until you think about what is happening at his present club.
You probably do not need an advanced degree in clinical psychology to figure out how Ibrahimovic is apt to view this development.
Ibrahimovic, who will be 32 in October, cannot love the idea of sharing the spotlight with the 26-year-old Cavani, who led Serie A with 29 goals last season.
Not a little bit, if you believe the Mirror.
Martin Lipton reports that Ibrahimovic "is understood to be unhappy at the imminent arrival of Uruguayan hitman Edinson Cavani...and there is a growing suspicion the Swede will refuse to turn up for training next Thursday."
Could be trouble in paradise. Perhaps the jilted Swede will look for a rebound relationship with City.
Dzeko cannot be too happy to hear the Ibrahimovic-to-City rumors.
Edin Dzeko had to know that Manchester City were going to acquire at least one more striker, maybe a few more, to go along with him and Sergio Aguero.
"We have two strikers at the moment and we need another one," Manuel Pellegrini announced at his first press conference as City's manager, per Goal.com.
Lately, at least, the noises about Dzeko wanting to go elsewhere to become a lead singer instead of a rhythm guitarist for the Citizens has abated.
According to Jason Burt of The Telegraph, Pellegrini recently offered that Dzeko "will stay here. For me, he’s a very important player. I’m sure that he will give this year the performances to show what he can do.”
Pellegrini repeatedly has maintained his stance that the arrival of other strikers does not mean Dzeko can or should leave Manchester City.
"It’s important to have a very good squad. I said before we came to South Africa that we needed to play for each position and that’s what we are looking for and I’m sure that we will have it," said Pellegrini recently, according to James Dickenson of the Daily Express.
Pellegrini clearly thinks more equals merrier. Dzeko may eventually disagree.
Trust me...there were not a lot of Maicon action shots in City blue to choose from in the photo gallery.
Maicon's departure from Manchester City is about as surprising as Carly Rae Jepsen's horror show of a first pitch at Tropicana Field over the weekend.
A miserable season followed Maicon's signing at City last summer, and per FoxSports.com, "New City boss Manuel Pellegrini did not select the 31-year-old for the tour of South Africa and, speaking after defeat to Supersport United in Pretoria, the Chilean confirmed his time at City is up."
From the "old defenders don't die, they just fade away" department, Maicon seems to have a soft landing waiting for him at Roma, per Nadia Carminati of SkySports.com.
Right, so every professional athlete is a gritty competitor and no great player wants to sit on the bench, et cetera.
But if Maicon really earned anything close to £90,000 every week to more or less not play for Manchester City last season, well, sign me up (h/t David Anderson of the Mirror).
By the end of the season, Maicon should have been depositing those checks wearing a disguise with a gun drawn.