Edin Dzeko Transfer Rumours: Latest News on Manchester City Star Week of Dec 2
With Roberto Mancini having exited―taking his desire to bench the Bosnian with him―and Manuel Pellegrini willing to offer the forward a City lifeline, Dzeko would have felt that his chance to nail down a starting spot was within grasp.
Yet after being replaced by Alvaro Negredo at half-time against Hull in the third league game of the season, Dzeko has started just one of the following nine.
With January approaching and Bosnia's first ever World Cup appearance on the horizon, Dzeko is sure to be targeting first-team football ahead of what could be the biggest summer of his career.
So will he be leaving City in January? There are certainly plenty of clubs who'd like to take him.
Here we track the latest rumours linking City's super-sub with a starting berth somewhere else.
LAST UPDATED TUESDAY DECEMBER 3
Is Dzeko the Man to Shoot the Gunners to the Title?
Missing out on Luis Suarez in the summer hasn't seemed to hold Arsenal back at all, but there remains the question of just what the table-topping Gunners would do should Olivier Giroud pick up an injury.
Tall, athletic and with an innate ability to put the ball into the back of the net, Dzeko would appear to be a perfect replacement for the Frenchman, and as such he's been linked with a January switch to North London by organisations such as ESPN.
With just Giroud to compete with for a central striking berth and not the likes of Sergio Aguero, Alvaro Negredo and even Stevan Jovetic, the move could well appeal to Dzeko. However, with Arsenal riding high at the top of the table and looking serious contenders for the title, City would surely be wise not to strengthen their squad.
They could find themselves regretting it if they do.
Or Will He Be BVB's New Lewandowski?
Borussia Dortmund will have been planning for life after Robert Lewandowski for a while now, and perhaps they could settle on Dzeko as the right man to replace him.
Lewandowski will be the highest profile free agent on the market next summer―although the Pole has reportedly already decided his next move, with Bayern Munich a possible destination (Sky Sports)―and so Jurgen Klopp's men could look to bring in a replacement six months early in order to allow him to settle in.
Having excelled in the Bundesliga as a title winner with Wolfsburg in 2008/09 and then as the division's top scorer the following season, a move back to Germany could appeal to Dzeko, as surely would the chance to play in such an entertaining BVB side.
The Daily Express have already reported Dortmund's interest in Dzeko, and this is a story which could well run and run, especially if Dortmund exit the Champions League early (they are currently in trouble in a group containing Arsenal and Napoli).
A group stage exit could lead to the consideration of a squad overhaul from Klopp, although Dzeko's price tag remains a hindrance.
Is He Pointing the Way to Inter?
Perhaps the best solution for Dzeko lies in Italy.
The Nerazzurri's new Indonesian owner Erick Thohir has promised money for the club in January, and Dzeko would appear to fit the profile as Inter's new main man as they continue their assault on Champions League qualification.
Whereas at Arsenal he'd be playing second fiddle to Giroud and at Dortmund he'd be replacing a club legend in Lewandowski, in Milan he could be allowed to flourish as the No. 1 forward.
That's something he's never really had in Manchester, and it could ensure that he's in top shape for the World Cup.
But Plzen Provides Yet Another City Lifeline
To Dzeko's credit, he has often stated that he wants to remain at City if only he's given the playing time, with this interview with the Daily Mirror typical of his comments whilst at the club.
With Manuel Pellegrini having seen his side already secure qualification for the knockout stages of the Champions League, perhaps the Chilean will rotate his squad for Wednesday's home clash with the Czech minnows Viktoria Plzen, who've lost all four of their games in the group so far.
Dzeko scored the opening goal as City won 3-0 in Plzen back in September, and with the prolific Aguero-Negredo partnership perhaps rested for this contest (although City are likely to need to win to keep alive hopes of pipping Bayern Munich to top the group), he'll perhaps be expecting to be given a chance to build on his six goals in all competitions this season.
A goal or two, and maybe he'll force his way into the team for next weekend's home league clash with Swansea?
As seems to constantly be the case with his City career though, Dzeko won't be making any assumptions.
The Inter Rumours Grow in Italy
Ahead of what is looking to be a likely start for Dzeko in that Plzen game, it appears as though the Inter Milan interest is starting to grow.
According to the Turin-based daily newspaper Tuttosport (a report quoted here on the sempreinter.com website), the Italian giants will have an eye on the Etihad Stadium this evening and in the future with an eye on luring Dzeko to the San Siro.
It is believed that the Bosnian is one of two main transfer targets for the club along with Cagliari's Radja Nainggolan, but the January returns from injury of both Diego Milito and Mauro Icardi mean that the transfer could be put back until the summer, when Inter will feel as though they can get him for a cheaper price.
Edin Heads in Against Plzen
Given his chance in the Champions League clash with Viktoria Plzen, Dzeko looked as though he was going to be in for a frustrating night.
UEFA's official website states that he took seven shots on goal during the contest against the Czechs, and he finally got his reward a minute from time when he rose to head home James Milner's cross to secure City's 4-2 win.
The match marked just Dzeko's third full appearance of the season following previous assignments against Newcastle in both the Premier League and the Capital One Cup, but his goal would undoubtedly have helped his cause for more action and helped him stay in the minds of potential suitors.
But It's Back to the Bench Against Swansea
Deep down Dzeko would already have known that his goal against the Czechs wasn't enough to earn him a starting place in Sunday's clash with Swansea City at the Etihad Stadium, and so it proved.
What's more, as he failed to start a Premier League game for the ninth time in City's last 10 assignments, the forward had to watch on as direct rival Alvaro Negredo curled home a fine free-kick for the opening goal of the 3-0 win.
Dzeko made it off the bench as a replacement for Sergio Aguero when the match was long since won 12 minutes from time, but he once again had limited time to make an impact.
Pellegrini Rules out a January Move
It seems that any hopes that Dzeko of leaving in January must now be over after his manager Manuel Pellegrini insisted that the Bosnian will not be sold until next summer at the earliest.
Ruling out the possibility of a move to Arsenal amongst others, Pellegrini is quoted by the Daily Telegraph as saying:
No, that is not the case [that Dzeko could be sold].
I put my trust in him before the season and I have just as much trust in him now. It is very important for this club to have a good squad because we have a lot of games to play from now until April and, if we want to win trophies, we need important players.
Maybe at the moment he is not playing as much as he would like, but he remains an important part of the squad.
Whether Dzeko feels the same at the moment is up for debate.