10 Transfer Deadline Day Possibilities for Manchester City
There is good news and bad news on the Manchester City transfer front.
The good news is that Jack Rodwell has done a recent about-face and now claims he was misquoted in earlier reports about young players like him signing at City.
“I actually said, ‘The last thing I could say to any young player is don’t sign for City’. And somehow that was translated into ‘don’t sign for City,’" Rodwell told The Sunday Times, according to David Lynch of the Manchester Evening News.
Well, that has to be a huge relief for City, knowing that someone as influential as Rodwell gives the club his blessing.
The bad news is that City are almost certainly not going to do any further buying in this transfer window. And given their start to the season, why would they?
Because of their Financial Fair Play difficulties, the best thing City could do for themselves in the time that remains in this window is to pull a Randolph and Mortimer Duke at the end of Trading Places.
N.B.: For "home-grown player rule" reasons, it would be impossible or close to it for City to make all 10 of these moves. These are all just options City might consider.
Sell Alvaro Negredo
The first few months of Negredo's City career were so good and so prolific that to see what has become of him is almost sad.
It seems like Negredo never quite got past the injury he sustained in the second leg of City's demolition of West Ham United in last season's Capital One Cup. Negredo was more or less healthy this summer, until he wasn't.
Negredo is still drawing interest despite the fact that he has not scored a goal in many months. Simon Mullock of the Mirror observed recently that: "Valencia are interested in the Spanish striker—sidelined for three months with a broken metatarsal—but are likely to be rebuffed."
The logic goes that City need four strikers to survive their busy, brutal schedule. But they got almost nothing from Stevan Jovetic last season and still won two trophies, so that logic is flawed.
Make Yaya Toure Available, but Do Not Sell Him
After a long summer of whinging by Toure, Richard Buxton of the Metro stirred the embers by stating that: "Manchester City have delivered a fresh snub to Yaya Toure by refusing to offer him a contract extension."
Toure has responded by playing City's first two matches of the new season looking like a man who slept in his kit in the changing room and woke up five minutes before kick off.
The sad truth for City is that they are probably not going to win the Champions League this season, but any shred of hope they have of doing so includes an engaged and energetic Toure.
Maybe putting his name in the paper again with threats of sending him somewhere he does not much want to go will inspire the Ivorian to turn the switch to "on" again.
Give Joe Hart a New Contract
City have signed the following players to new and lucrative long-term contracts in August: David Silva, Vincent Kompany, Edin Dzeko, Sergio Aguero and Samir Nasri.
This business has been described as retaining "the spine of their side to retain their title and push for Champions League success" by Chris Bascombe in The Telegraph.
Hart must be looking around at all of these happy faces in the changing room and wondering when it will be his turn.
"Hart insists he is thriving from the pressure presented by the £6 million summer signing Willy Caballero but warned he is not prepared to give up his place as No. 1," wrote The Telegraph's John Percy recently.
City probably do not need to give Hart four or five more seasons on top of the two more he has guaranteed. Two or three more should do it.
Hart's form is very good right now, and some added job security could inspire even greater play from the incumbent.
Sell James Milner
Now in the last year of his current deal, Milner has been consistent in his refusal to sign a new contract at City. Milner has repeatedly said that he will stay if he is assured of playing more often.
And when is that going to happen?
Every time Milner turns around, City have acquired another midfielder who will likely take opportunities away from him.
At 28, Milner's value as an energy guy and all-around player will only dwindle. Milner's elite skill is his desire; he does not have an elite physical skill that will propel him through an athletic decline due to age.
Note that it is this correspondent's opinion that Milner is severely underrated. It would be preferable to work him back into the rotation in a meaningful way.
But Manuel Pellegrini does not seem at all inclined to do that. It may be better to give Milner a chance to play somewhere else, while bringing in a decent transfer fee at the same time.
Sell Matija Nastasic
City are believed to be asking in the vicinity of £12 million as a sale price, but they "would be prepared to send him on loan with a view to permanent deal."
Eliaquim Mangala is set to supplant Martin Demichelis as the starting centre-back next to Vincent Kompany, once Mangala is fit. Demichelis' role as cover for injuries and/or suspensions to those two is under no real threat from Nastasic.
City should part with the imposing Serbian and alleviate some of their fiscal troubles in the process.
Sell Micah Richards
The same Express report indicated that "long-term admirers Newcastle and West Ham are both set to step up their interest in Richards." City's asking price is believed to be £7 million.
Selling Richards has almost nothing to do with the money.
Yes, every £7 million counts toward the bottom line, but the larger issue here is that there is now no series of injuries or other set of unforeseen circumstances where you could safely project City manager Manuel Pellegrini deciding to play Richards in a meaningful match.
At this point, selling Richards would be addition by subtraction.
Loan John Guidetti
Even if City really do need four strikers, they definitely do not need five. That probably means another year of playing somewhere else for Guidetti.
News surrounding Guidetti has been slow as of late, but earlier this month Joe Bernstein noted for the Daily Mail that: "Feyenoord and Ajax are among several European clubs who have enquired about the 22-year-old Swede, whose only first-team appearance for City came in a League Cup tie against West Brom in 2010."
As City are presently constructed, Guidetti is not good enough to play a League Cup match for them. Better to find another place for him to play this season.
Loan Dedryck Boyata
Simon Jones of the Daily Mail wrote recently that, "Anderlecht have asked to loan City's Belgian defender Dedryck Boyata."
If Nastasic and Richards cannot sniff a chance in the City XI (or even dress for most matches), Boyata's opportunities promise to be even fewer and further between.
Better to have Boyata playing at a reasonably high level of football somewhere this season.
Loan Scott Sinclair
Like Rodwell, Maicon, Nastasic and Javi Garcia, Scott Sinclair is a remnant of City's ill-fated transfer dealings in the summer of 2012.
Nastasic and Sinclair are still City's property, though. Looking back, it is impossible to see what City were trying to accomplish with that class of signings. Give City this: They learned their lesson, because last summer and this summer they surgically addressed needs and spent money where they needed to.
That is what is known as a huge understatement followed by an even more enormous understatement.
Give Manuel Pellegrini a New Contract
So soon? Yes, so soon.
Pellegrini signed a three-year contract last summer. In the 13 months since he signed that deal, City have won the Premier League and the Capital One Cup. They also progressed to the knockout stage of the Champions League for the first time in their history.
City have gone out of their way this summer to lock down key players to long-term contracts. The plan is clear: City want to keep this group intact as long as they can, because they are winners and winners are hard to find.
That goes for the manager, too.