A January Transfer Window Wish List for Manchester City
How are Manchester City faring this season? It depends on whom you ask—and when you ask him.
From a Champions League perspective, things are looking pretty good. After City's 2-1 victory at CSKA Moscow last week, City boss Manuel Pellegrini noted, per UEFA.com, "I'm very happy...getting the three points is important for the future of the group."
From a Premier League perspective? Somewhat less good.
"We are losing stupid points. In the three defeats we have had away, we did not deserve to lose one of them,” Pellegrini said, according to the club's own website.
City's season thus far is the working definition of the half-full glass. Or is it half-empty? On track to qualify for knockout play in the Champions League, but seventh in the Premier League table, City are enigmatic as ever.
Whom might the Sky Blues bring to the Etihad in January to move the needle north again?
Sergio Aguero might look at this slide and ask exactly what he has to do to keep City from buying any more strikers.
Aguero is presently on one of those tears great players go on now and again when the goal just seems bigger than normal.
Still, if Borussia Dortmund are serious about selling Robert Lewandowski for £7 million, City have to get in on that. Jack Wilson's story in the Express feels a bit flimsy, but if it is true, City should pounce.
The rationale against moving on Lewandowski is the belief that he is already set on joining Bayern Munich after this season ends. To which City should say, "Great, good luck with that. In the interim, though, join us for an extended Champions League run and a full-blooded assault on the Premier League."
Have a double in Manchester before you go to Bayern to be a squad player.
Speaking of Borussia Dortmund stars who would fit right in at the Etihad, how about Marco Reus?
Nick Lustig of the Daily Star reported earlier this month that Manchester City and Arsenal "are both weighing up a January bid for the 24-year-old, who was a huge hit at the Bundesliga outfit last season scoring 19 times following his move from Borussia Monchengladbach."
Nothing worth having comes easily.
It is not just Premier League intrigue that has Jose Mourinho and Manuel Pellegrini swinging proverbial purses at each other.
Chelsea and Manchester City are reported by the Express to be eyeing each other down over which club might pry defensive midfielder Blaise Matuidi out of Paris Saint-Germain.
Per Ben Jefferson's report, Matuidi's deal ends next summer and "reports in France suggest that Chelsea and City will look to move for Matuidi if a new contract cannot be agreed in the near future."
If you have watched City play this season, you know that anyone who can defend a little bit would be a big help for the Sky Blues. Against Chelsea, Joe Hart and Matija Nastasic literally could not get out of each other's way.
It has been a month since the "Pecks to City" reports reached a crescendo.
In that month, City have inexcusably lost matches at Aston Villa and at Chelsea due to defensive lapses.
Jamie Sanderson's report in the Metro back in September put it thus:
Manuel Pellegrini had been confident of landing the 20-year-old defender who has been recommended to him by City scouts. But despite talk in Portugal that a £5 million deal was close ahead of the January transfer window, Gil Vicente are insisting that their star man will not leave on the cheap.
So Pecks will not come cheaply. How much would City pay to get the four points they hemorrhaged at Villa Park and Stamford Bridge back?
Maybe City need to fan the flames on Pecks again.
Being of two minds on this issue is doing me no favors from a credibility standpoint. Duly noted.
On the other, incumbent keeper Joe Hart's undeniable struggles have to be at some level a product of the shoddy defensive play in front of him.
City and their fans probably need to come around on the idea that adding a player like Begovic does not mean Hart is instantly out of a job.
In fact, just the presence of a legitimate contender for his position might be exactly what Hart needs to find his form again.