Manchester City Transfer Rumors: 10 Players They Will Be Going After in January

Vijay MuraliAnalyst ISeptember 27, 2011

Manchester City Transfer Rumors: 10 Players They Will Be Going After in January

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    Manchester City have started on a bright note this campaign and their manager Roberto Mancini has helped the club progress in the right direction. They have played some excellent attacking football and with the additions of players like Samir Nasri and Sergio Aguero in the summer, City have the quality to challenge the best clubs in the world. Though they are not experienced in the Champions League, most clubs do want to avoid a draw with City because of the team's immense quality and depth.

    Under Mancini, City have made several important signings like Yaya Toure and Sergio Aguero and the manager has managed to integrate many of these players in his system. The team will be challenging for both the European title and the Premier League title, and might also concentrate on the domestic Cup competitions as well. They could need more reinforcements in the January transfer window and with City's financial muscle, they could lure some of the best players in the world.

    Though City already have a very strong side, Mancini could still make a move for some players in January and here are 10 players who could be targeted by Manchester City.

1. Robin Van Persie (Arsenal)

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    According to the Daily Mail, Manchester City are interested in signing yet another Arsenal player, Robin van Persie, if the Dutchman does not commit his long term future to the Emirates. The Arsenal captain has a contract till 2013 and if he does not sign a new contract before the end of the season, the Gunners would find themselves in a situation which is not too dissimilar to what they faced this summer with Samir Nasri, who was lured by City in the summer.

    However, the difference between Van Persie and Nasri is that the Dutchman has shown loyalty to the Gunners and also, has a great connection with the fans. Also, he is currently the Arsenal captain and has taken on the responsibility due to the departure of Cesc Fabregas. Arsene Wenger has a good relationship with the striker and will hope to persuade him to sign a new contract as soon as possible. Should he not sign a new contract before January, then City could bid around £30 million for the influential Dutchman, who recently scored his 100th goal for the Gunners.

2. Neymar (Santos)

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    According to the Daily Mail, Roberto Mancini has insisted to the Manchester City hierarchy that the club should make serious efforts to sign Brazilian international Neymar, who has attracted interest from both Real Madrid and FC Barcelona. The Manchester City manager believes that the Santos striker could have the same impact as a teenage Wayne Rooney had at Manchester City.

    With big clubs like Real Madrid and FC Barcelona also interested, it will be interesting to see whether City can convince Neymar of their ambition. They do have the financial muscle to compete with any club in the world which is why they have a chance of signing Neymar, who is valued at around £50 million. However, if Mancini does sign Neymar, then it will mean even less playing time for Mario Balotelli, who could leave the club considering that he will attract many clubs in the world despite being a volatile character.

3. Ross Barkley (Everton)

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    According to the Daily Mail, Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City are all interested in a move for Everton starlet Ross Barkley, who has attracted plenty of interest following his impressive performances in limited opportunities. Barkley is not yet 18 but could already be targeted by some big clubs in the near future.

    Another Everton youngster, Wayne Rooney, was also targeted by Manchester United and others at a very young age. Even as a teenager, Rooney did have an important impact for the Red Devils. Barkley’s progress has been compared with Rooney and Everton manager David Moyes considers the young star to be a special talent and an important member of the side in the future. He will not be happy to lose him to a big club but considering Everton's financial problems, they could sell the midfielder in the future.

4. Sergio Busquets (FC Barcelona)

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    According to Caughtoffside.com, Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini is interested in a move for Barcelona's defensive midfielder Sergio Busquets, who has made rapid progress under manager Pep Guardiola. Mancini was considering signing a defensive midfielder as cover for Nigel De Jong in the summer and managed to sign former Manchester United midfielder Owen Hargreaves in the summer.

    Though Hargreaves has shown that he is a quality player in the past, he has been injured for a long spell. It is doubtful if he can handle the pressure of playing regularly for City if De Jong is injured. Also, Busquets at 23 could be a signing for the long term and will bring in more fluidity to the team. City are apparently planning a bid of £35 million for the Barcelona midfielder but it is highly unlikely that Guardiola will consider selling the versatile midfielder, who can also do a decent job at centre back.

5. Alessio Cerci (Fiorentina)

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    According to Talksport, Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini could be interested in a move for Fiorentina midfielder Alessio Cerci, who has impressed for the Italian club following his move to the club from Roma in 2010. Mancini was apparently interested in a summer transfer for the winger but cooled his interest following the big money acquisition of Samir Nasri from Arsenal, who had only one year left on his contract.

    According to the report, City could attempt to sign the midfielder, valued at around £7 million, but they could face competition from Italian giants Juventus, who are also interested in the midfielder. Juventus manager Antonio Conte has the difficult task of steering the club back to the summit of the Serie A and has identified Cerci as one of the targets in the January transfer window.

6. Marek Hamsik (Napoli)

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    According to the Daily Star, Manchester City are apparently interested in signing Napoli's attacking midfielder in January, though it could depend on whether or not Napoli are knocked out in the group stages of the Champions League. The 24-year-old Slovakian captain has attracted interest of a number of other clubs including the likes of Manchester United but it does seem like City's interest is stronger at the moment. It has yet to be seen, though, whether Napoli will sell an important component of their team in January.

    Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez has made it clear that he does want to leave the club and if he does leave the club, he will bring in the funds to make another quality signing, although Hamsik is not a direct replacement for the Argentina international. With Yaya Toure also likely to miss around six weeks due to the African Cup of Nations, it would be a huge boost to their title challenge if City can sign Hamsik, who is valued at around £20 million.

7. Raul Albiol (Real Madrid)

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    According to Talksport, Manchester City, Liverpool and Spanish club Malaga are all interested in Real Madrid defender Raul Albiol, who has had limited opportunities under Jose Mourinho at Madrid. Mourinho's preferred combination has been Pepe and Ricardo Carvalho at the back and with the addition of Raphael Varane and the versatility of Sergio Ramos, Madrid do have depth in central defense for the season. However, it is important to note that Albiol will provide another option.

    However, the Spanish international wants to make Vincente Del Bosque's squad for the Euro Championships and if he does not play regularly, he might not be favored for the Spain national team. City do have options at the back but with Kolo Toure, already 30 years of age and not match-fit having just returned from suspension, Albiol could provide a better long term option at a reasonable price. City will have to compete with Malaga, whose manager ,Manuel Pellegrini, was instrumental in bringing Albiol to Madrid when he was the manager of the club. They will also to have to compete with Liverpool, who recently signed Sebastien Coates.

8. Daniele De Rossi (Roma)

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    According to the Sun, Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini was interested in signing Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi in the summer but after the signings of Sergio Aguero and Samir Nasri, City did not want to spend more in the summer. According to SunSport, De Rossi may not sign a new contract at Roma and has been interested in City. Also, Roma do not want to give in to his extravagant demands of £170,000 per week.

    De Rossi would be a quality addition to the midfield for Manchester City and it is clear that manager Roberto Mancini does have an interest in the Roma midfielder. The Italian club placed a price tag of £25 million on the midfielder but may have to settle for a lower fee considering the contract situation.

    When asked about De Rossi, Mancini said: "De Rossi would be absolutely perfect.I rate him one of the best midfielders in the world."

9. Milos Krasic (Juventus)

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    According to a recent report, Manchester City have joined a number of other clubs in pursuit of Juventus winger Milos Krasic, who is considered to be an excellent talent. The Serbian international has attracted a number of big clubs, including the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea and City, according to the report. Juventus do want to hold on to their midfielder and Giuseppe Marotta has said that they will not let Krasic leave in January.

    City are apparently planning a player-exchange deal involving Alexander Kolarov, who has moved down the pecking order following the acquisition of Gael Clichy from Arsenal. United and Chelsea are also interested and their players, Nemanja Vidic and Brainslav Ivanovic could also play a role in convincing the Serbian international to choose their respective clubs.

10. Ezequiel Lavezzi (Napoli)

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    According to a report, Ezequiel Lavezzi's agent has revealed that Manchester City were interested in the versatile striker in the summer but they had Sergio Aguero as their top transfer target of the summer. The Napoli striker did stay at the club and is a key member of the team as they attempt to have good campaigns both in the Serie A and also in the European competition.

    "Lavezzi, along with Eto'o, were on the list of alternatives should Manchester have failed to get Aguero, or sold Tevez," revealed De Giorgis, who is the agent of the Napoli forward. "In the end it all worked in their favour."

    Manchester City managed to sign Samir Nasri and Aguero in the summer, and with Carlos Tevez also staying at the club, they did not require any more attacking players. However, there exists a good possibility that Carlos Tevez could leave the club in January and if that does happen, Mancini could turn to Lavezzi, who is versatile and will provide quality depth. This addition will help them in their title challenge this season.