5 Players Manchester City Should Target to Replace Edin Dzeko
According to a report by John Cross in the Mirror, Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko is the subject of strong interest from Italian giants Inter Milan, who are set to launch a bid to sign him in the summer.
The Bosnian has failed to nail down a first-team place at City since his move from Wolfsburg in 2011, despite an impressive ratio of goals to games.
With his contract expiring in 2015, it is understood the club may be willing to sell him, with a £15 million price tag being mooted.
Here we take a look at five potential replacements, should he be allowed to leave the Etihad.
1. Romelu Lukaku
The 20-year-old Everton striker, currently on loan from Chelsea, appears to have everything he needs to become an excellent Premier League striker. He is strong, intelligent, good in the air and makes himself a nuisance—opposition defenders hate trying to mark him.
Lukaku is far from a finished product right now, but his huge potential is clear, with his mix of physical and technical qualities marking him out as one of the finest prospects for his age.
He does have a tendency to drift out of matches at the moment, but that will eventually be resolved as he continues to develop and improve.
He's bagged 10 goals in 21 games this season and has impressed with his all-round game.
2. Mario Balotelli
No one has divided City’s fanbase quite like the enigmatic Mario Balotelli. The Italian striker had a mixed first spell at the club. One minute, he would demonstrate his obvious talent. The next, he would find himself embroiled in controversy.
His tendency to get caught up in difficulties proved to be his downfall. His own supporters were exasperated by what they saw as a wasted talent—a player so clearly capable of producing great moments, but one who was too often suspended, in the media for off-field issues or, as in one case, fighting his own manager.
However, despite his misdemeanors, it remains obvious that he is an extremely talented player. Very few players can produce moments of magic like Balotelli, and his physical strength and stature make him unplayable when he's at his best.
He could very well go on to be one of the best strikers in the world.
Although not a like-for-like replacement for Dzeko, Real Madrid's Isco is a talented attacking player.
Manager Manuel Pellegrini is a known admirer of the Spaniard, with a fresh bid for the player they lost out on in the summer thought to be on the cards, per Paul Hetherington at the Daily Star.
Isco played under Pellegrini at Malaga, and the Chilean made attempts to sign him as soon as he took over at City in May, but he lost out to Carlo Ancelotti's side.
The 21-year-old Spaniard has failed to win a permanent place at the Bernabeu, though, and City could move for him again.
A £30 million bid would likely tempt the La Liga leaders.
4. Angel Correa
One player recently linked with a move to City is 18-year-old Angel Correa, the Argentinian striker currently playing for San Lorenzo. According to Ed Malyon at the Mirror, City officials recently watched Correa in action but face stiff competition for his signature.
Atletico Madrid, a side known for signing players with excellent potential, are thought to be interested. Furthermore, it is understood the Spanish side have tabled a bid.
Correa is considered to be one of the finest young players in South America, but San Lorenzo are thought to be keen to hang on to him.
5. John Guidetti
City may already have a player capable of replacing Dzeko on their books.
Guidetti spent the 2011-12 season on loan at the Dutch Eredivisie club, scoring a remarkable 20 goals in 23 matches, and becoming a hero with the Feyenoord fans. However, a rare virus brought his season to an early end and he returned to his parent club for treatment.
He has struggled to regain fitness since, which is the reason City sent him on loan to Stoke in January, but Mark Hughes' refusal to use him regularly looks set to make it a pointless move.
If he can get himself match fit, Manuel Pellegrini is a known admirer and may be tempted to give him a chance in City's side. The longer he spends on the sidelines, the less likely that scenario is.