Manchester City Transfer News and Rumours Tracker: Week of April 14

Phil Keidel@@PhilKeidelContributor IIApril 15, 2014

Manchester City Transfer News and Rumours Tracker: Week of April 14

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    We can't look either, Kun.
    We can't look either, Kun.Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    In the aftermath of Liverpool 3-2 Manchester City, the Reds fans who inhabit the outer concentric friend circles of my life have been very complimentary of the Sky Blues.

    They can certainly afford to be magnanimous. But it comes off as patronizing. This is not how any City supporter projected this season winding down.

    Not that City cannot yet save this Premier League title effort. They can. A good start would be ripping off six wins in a row to close the season out.

    In the off (all right, probably on) chance City do not win out, though, now is a reasonable time to think about what Manuel Pellegrini and City's brass can do this summer to patch the holes Liverpool, Chelsea and most notably Barcelona so cruelly exposed.

    Centre-back and striker are somewhat obvious places to start.

Eliaquim Mangala

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    "But I do know Mangala. I do know Mangala."
    "But I do know Mangala. I do know Mangala."Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

    Manchester City's centre-back cohort has let them down many times this season. Losses at Cardiff City, Aston Villa, Chelsea and Liverpool were indelibly marked with centre-back errors.

    Not to mention the psychic toll taken when City captain and centre-back Vincent Kompany left in the early moments at Hull City.

    Martin Demichelis spent much of the fall and winter months as a convenient outlet for City supporters' frustration, symbolized by the red card he took against Barcelona in Champions League play.

    Demichelis did not play all that well this season, but he was not to blame for the disappearance of Matija Nastasic or Joleon Lescott's lost pace.

    City's first order of business in the summer transfer window should be prying Eliaquim Mangala out of Porto.

    The recent Manchester Evening News report that Mangala played poorly against Sevilla is actually welcome news to the Citizens, who would love to see Mangala's price tag fall.

Romelu Lukaku

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    City fans would love to watch Lukaku embrace Manuel Pellegrini this way.
    City fans would love to watch Lukaku embrace Manuel Pellegrini this way.Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

    In the United States, we say about hockey goaltenders and American football quarterbacks that if you have two or more of them you call "starters," you don't even have one.

    The idea being that those positions call for clear No. 1 choices and clear backups, not similarly talented and similarly flawed players vying for the same position as the team wonders who is in charge.

    On that note, answer this quickly: Who is Manchester City's No. 1 striker?

    Sergio Aguero? Only when he plays. Edin Dzeko? He is so inconsistent. Alvaro Negredo? He has not scored in forever. Stevan Jovetic? Nobody knows whether he will have a useful moment at City.

    Into this mix, perhaps, may come Romelu Lukaku, according to The Sun (subscription required): "Romelu Lukaku is a massive summer target for Manchester City. Manuel Pellegrini wants a striker as Edin Dzeko is expected to leave the Etihad at the end of the season."

    Why Chelsea would sell Lukaku to a direct rival and why Lukaku would want to come to City are questions no one can satisfactorily answer.

Micah Richards

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    Richards' departure is sad but probably the right thing for all concerned.
    Richards' departure is sad but probably the right thing for all concerned.Jan Kruger/Getty Images

    According to Sky Sports and several other outlets, Manchester City defender Micah Richards is leaving the Etihad of his own volition.

    "Richards confirmed to City chiefs in early March that he would not be signing a deal which was offered to him last summer," Sky Sports indicated. 

    "In the Premier League, Arsenal, Liverpool, Newcastle, West Ham and Tottenham are all believed to be monitoring the situation," as well as several clubs in Europe the same report continued.

    Richards' departure will be a blow to the Sky Blues off the pitch more than on it. Richards has been unable to crack the XI under successive managers and seemingly never recovered from a nasty injury sustained in December of 2012.

    Seeing him go means City will be without a player they developed from his youth. Richards is also English and his presence helped City abide by the Home Grown Player rule.

    Why City never gave Richards a real run at centre-back this season while Vincent Kompany, Matija Nastasic and other centre-backs were injured is anyone's guess.