Manchester City are planning a double swoop for Porto's Eliaquim Mangala and Fernando in a bid to boost their chances of a four-trophy haul.
Updates from Fri, Jan. 31
Alice McKeegan of the Manchester Evening News provides an update, and reports that a privately chartered plane potentially carrying the two players is set to touch down at Manchester airport at 3:23 p.m. on Friday.
City boss Manuel Pellegrini remained coy on the subject of new signings, saying: "There is no news. Tomorrow you will know everything.There may be business but now, no news."
Manuel Pellegrini's side are challenging on all fronts, and the former Real Madrid manager is keen to introduce new faces to his squad in order to maintain that push.
A report by Chris Wheeler in the Daily Mail claims City will even maintain their interest into the summer, if they fail to get the deal done on Jan. 31:
Manchester City are in talks over a £35million deal to sign Porto centre back Eliaquim Mangala and his team-mate Fernando.
They may struggle to pull off the double transfer before Friday’s 11pm deadline but City are determined to seal the deals no later than this summer.
It seems odd that City have left it so late to attempt to sign Mangala and Fernando for such a high fee, but the pair—and especially Mangala—would allow Pellegrini to continue reshaping the squad in his own identity.
The report also claims Joleon Lescott would be allowed to leave City for West Ham if Mangala is recruited, while Fernando's signing would likely allow Gareth Barry or Jack Rodwell to depart in the summer.
Mangala, 22, will add class to a City defence which has struggled with injuries this season and, alongside Matija Nastasic, would offer a flexible defensive partner for captain Vincent Kompany.
Having played over 100 times for Standard Liege and Porto, and made 23 appearances for the France under-21 side, Mangala has the look of someone ready to make the step up.
The 6' 2" defender has already won three league titles, and will be odds on to continue that run at City.
Mirror reporter John Cross says the signing of Mangala will have a big effect on City's pursuit of silverware:
If Manchester City land Mangala they will have signed a strong super defender sought after by all the top clubs. Could be big day for them..— John Cross (@johncrossmirror) January 31, 2014
The player's arrival would come as a blow to City's rivals, with the club already the envy of the Premier League due to their enviable resources.
Fernando, also a target for Manchester United, per Alex Richards in the Mirror, will likely be viewed as a squad player behind Fernandinho and Yaya Toure, but with City involved in the Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup, and Capital One Cup there will be plenty of opportunity to play games.
Having won four league titles, two Portuguese cups and the Europa League during his time with Porto, the combative midfielder certainly has the mentality to help City.
The only weakness levelled at City this term is that their defence can be breached, but that will be strengthened considerably with the captures of Mangala and Fernando.