5 Transfer Deals Manchester City Should Make Before Season Starts
"A-B-C. A-Always, B-Be, C-Closing. Always be closing. ALWAYS BE CLOSING," said Alec Baldwin's Blake in "Glengarry Glen Ross."
Hopefully, Manchester City's chief executives saw the movie.
City might feel fairly satisfied with themselves after setting that second Premier League trophy in three seasons on the mantel.
The rest of the Premier League would love it if City got complacent. Knowing Txiki Begiristain and Ferran Soriano as we do (which admittedly is not that much), don't count on that.
Here are five transfer deals City should give serious thought to before the summer transfer window closes.
BUY: Eliaquim Mangala
Manchester City are fully equipped at every position on the pitch save for the most important position, which is centre-back.
City's centre-back problems started early in the 2013-14 season and only just barely dissipated in time for City's home-stretch kick to the Premier League finish line.
Vincent Kompany and Martin Demichelis are the presumptive starters at centre-back if City do not make a move. The depth behind them is nearly non-existent.
Joleon Lescott is now at West Bromwich Albion. Matija Nastasic, who per David Anderson of the Irish Mirror, "lost his starting place last season at City, with boss Manuel Pellegrini preferring Martin Demichelis as Vincent Kompany's centre-half partner," is now being targeted by Juventus.
City desperately need an upgrade at centre-back over Demichelis, someone who can run with Kompany. Demichelis would be a nice injury replacement, but he cannot start for a club with City's European ambition.
Porto's Eliaquim Mangala is reportedly close to becoming City property. Per Paul Hetherington of the Daily Star, "Mangala is earmarked to be skipper Vincent Kompany’s partner at the centre of the champions’ defence and will be paid £90,000 a week."
SELL: Yaya Toure
If you have not read it, here are the highlights:
- Toure pretty clearly wants to leave given the fuss he has raised this summer.
- Toure is 31 years old and just finished third in the Premier League in scoring; his value is never going to be higher than it is right now.
- Signing players like Bacary Sagna (and possibly Eliaquim Mangala) has City butting up against their Financial Fair Play monetary restrictions, and selling Toure could ease that strain.
All that said, if Toure actually wants to stay at City, forget the whole thing. City should only sell Toure if in fact their relationship with the big Ivorian is beyond salvaging.
SELL: Alvaro Negredo
Manchester City are saying all the right things about Alvaro Negredo. These are also all the things a club generally says about a player right before they sell him—it's better for the sale price.
"City are focusing on what one club source described as the Spaniard’s ‘sensational’ form in the first half of the season when he scored 23 goals in 33 appearances," wrote Stuart Brennan in the Manchester Evening News.
"And they will rebuff any moves from Atletico, who want Negredo to replace Diego Costa, and Tottenham who are the latest to be linked," Brennan added.
There are several reasons why City ran afoul of FIFA's Financial Fair Play rules. You do not need to be a Ph.D. mathematician, though, to know that one of the biggest causes for City's imbalanced books is that they are carrying four strikers who would start for almost any other club in the Premier League.
Neither Sergio Aguero nor Edin Dzeko are going anywhere. Oft-injured Stevan Jovetic, 24, showed enough in his opportunities and carries enough promise to deserve another season at the Etihad.
Negredo, who burned brightly in the first half of last season then promptly burned out, probably ought to be the odd (even?) man out.
Like Yaya Toure, the sum Negredo could fetch via sale would allow City to address more pressing needs.
SELL: Jack Rodwell
Manchester City should sell Yaya Toure and Alvaro Negredo because they will bring back significant sums of money.
City should sell Jack Rodwell because they have no use for him and need to cut their losses.
"City are yet to officially open talks with any interested parties, but a host of teams are jostling to land the England international, either on loan or on a permanent basis," wrote Graeme Bailey for Sky Sports.
Bailey named names as to clubs allegedly in the chase for Rodwell: "Newcastle, Sunderland, Stoke, Hull, Southampton, West Ham, Tottenham, Swansea, West Brom and former club Everton, as well as teams in Spain and Italy, all have an interest in landing him."
City need to get the bidding on Rodwell started now before some of these clubs wise up.
BUY: Ross Barkley
Far more troubling than any monetary sanction FIFA hit Manchester City with was the potential restriction on their squad with respect to home-grown players.
"City are aware they need to build up the number of ‘home grown’ players after a summer clear-out that will see Gareth Barry, Joleon Lescott, Micah Richards, Scott Sinclair and, possibly, James Milner leave," noted James Nursey for the Mirror.
Nursey's piece detailed City's interest in England prospect and Everton star Ross Barkley. "Manchester City are weighing up a £25million move for Everton’s England ace Ross Barkley using Jack Rodwell as bait. The champions are interested in attacking midfielder Barkley, 20, who excelled last season."
Hey City, see if Everton want you to drive Rodwell to Goodison Park as part of the deal. If so, arrange transportation.