Manchester City Transfer News and Rumours Tracker: Week of April 28
The Premier League table is beginning to take on the characteristics of the weather in the land where all the league's matches are played.
If you do not like the look of the Premier League table, wait a few minutes. It will change.
Given the volatility at the top of the table, though, the idea that City could actually run off three victories and win the league is pretty unlikely. It feels like the league is going to be won by the team that loses it the least.
The only place City are apt to guarantee results is in the summer transfer window. Unlike the changeable nature of the Premier League table, City's needs are pretty obvious and static. They need at least one defender, probably two, and they need a midfielder.
Here is a look at the latest on Manchester City's summer transfer plans.
Krishnan Iyer of the International Business Times is the latest to report on the worst-kept secret in the Premier League, which is that Manchester City need Porto centre-back Eliaquim Mangala in the worst way.
"City were purportedly interested in acquiring Mangala's services during the winter transfer window, but their intentions of making a double swoop for him and his club-mate Fernando Reges failed to materialise," Iyer reported recently.
Iyer then noted that manager Manuel Pellegrini's apparent surplus at centre-back is actually a shortage.
Pellegrini "currently has four central defenders in his squad with Vincent Kompany, Martin Demichelis, Matija Nastasic and Joleon Lescott," noted Iyer. But Lescott is out of contract at the end of the season, Demichelis has only one year left on his deal and Nastasic has been limited by injury all season.
If City only land one player this summer, it ought to be Mangala.
The Press Association's Jim Van Wijk reported in the Daily Mail recently that "Arsenal are no closer to tying up a contract extension for defender Bacary Sagna" per Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger's latest indications.
Sides throughout Europe are lining up to bid on Sagna this summer, "with the likes of Inter Milan, Paris St Germain, Galatasaray and Manchester City all interested in acquiring his services," Van Wijk noted.
Sagna will be a valued commodity in the summer transfer window because he has extensive experience playing regularly for a club that once again appears set to secure a Champions League place.
Van Wijk stated that Wenger remains hopeful of retaining Sagna. As Wenger put it, "the ball is not in our camp anymore, it is in his camp, and he needs to come back to us."
The Daily Mail's David Kent took it a step further, stating flatly that "Sagna is set to reject Arsenal’s final contract offer—a move that will spell the end of his eight-year stay at the club."
There will be blood in the water on that news.
Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart has not made a noticeable mistake in quite some time. Unfortunately for Hart, supporters and managers have very long memories where goalkeeping gaffes are concerned.
The Mirror recently reported that City might be interested in that rarest of player transactions, a straight trade of two players at the same position within the league.
"Manchester City want to swap England keeper Joe Hart for Tottenham's France international Hugo Lloris," noted the Mirror.
This transaction is unlikely for many reasons. From City's standpoint, it ought to be dismissed out of hand because there is no way to tell whether Lloris is actually as good as his reputation these days.
Tottenham Hotspur's goal difference is three at the time of writing. City's is 58. That is not all goalkeeping, not hardly.
Lloris is all over the park all the time at White Hart Lane. A lot of that is by necessity, sure. But Hart's worst mistakes this season came when he left his line on rash whims.
Leaving his line on rash whims is a kind description of Lloris' style of play.
Greg Price of the International Business Times reported recently that Hamburg attacking-midfield prodigy Hakan Calhanoglu might be available.
Why? Follow the money, of course.
"Hamburg is heavily in debt and could raise some capital by selling off several players, including its top playmaker and 20-year-old Turkish international in Calhanoglu," Price wrote.
Premier League sides are excitedly scouting the young midfielder and mulling heavy bids for his services.
Hamburg's debt issues could be eased significantly if those financial heavyweights get into a bidding war.