Manchester City Transfers: 13 January Targets for Roberto Mancini
Manchester City have gone from mediocrity to Premier League dominance in a few short seasons, and the Citizens have used the backing of money to top the EPL heading into the final month of the calendar year.
Roberto Mancini has been active in the previous transfer windows, and I expect nothing different from the Italian when it opens again in January.
Seemingly linked with every big name and young stalwart in the world, City will look to bolster their squad even more as they look to maintain their place in the standings.
Here is a list of 13 transfers on Mancini’s radar, as a few familiar faces are mixed in with some recent speculation.
1. Edinson Cavani
Probably the biggest and longest tenured name on Mancini’s wish list, the Uruguayan has been in unbelievable form and has Napoli thinking of silverware this season.
The 24-year-old is a clinical striker who has limitless potential, and has featured more and more for his country on the biggest stages. Mancini has expressed his desire in bringing the hitman to the Etihad for quite some time, and he hopes to make a tantalizing bid come January.
Napoli is playing strong at the moment and the last thing they want is to lose their star striker, but if the right amount of money is thrown around, anything can happen.
2. Alessio Cerci
Alessio Cerci is a fiery young player who recently got in a tussle with his club coach, which makes the comparisons seem legitimate. But he reassures the public he is not a nuisance and only wants to improve his game, and being a target of Mancini’s is very “flattering” for the Italian.
Mancini has a knack for getting young, troubled players to get on board with the team’s mentality, so if Cerci decides to move I think he could grow tremendously under his compatriot.
3. Angel Di Maria
The Argentine winger was linked with Manchester City before he made a move to the Spanish capital, but Mancini will look to reignite his interest in the Madrid man once again.
Troubled striker Carlos Tevez is rumored to be linked with a player plus cash swap, and the Citizens would love to offload the petulant Argentine for his fellow national team member. Di Maria has played a lot under Jose Mourinho but with a crowded midfield, Los Blancos are willing to part ways with the 23-year-old in order to bring in a quality striker like Tevez.
City will gladly take Madrid’s leftovers if they feel Di Maria is surplus to requirements, and even a crowded midfield of their own, I think the Argentine can easily find a place in the Citizens’ lineup.
The Brazilian is the hottest commodity on the planet, and the demand for the Santos striker’s services has caused crazy rumors to spread regarding his future.
Big-spending City has monitored Neymar for a while and they were obviously crushed to hear the news of his “pre-contract agreements” with Real Madrid. The youngster has recently hit out at these false accusations though, claiming he has no intentions of leaving for the Spanish giants and even signed a new contract with his club.
But with today’s age of gossipy football, nothing is ever set in stone and once January rolls around, I expect City to step up their interest in the teenager and splash the cash if necessary.
5. Sergio Busquets
The Barcelona midfielder is a figure of controversy in world footy, so Manchester City’s interest in Sergio Busquets should come as no surprise.
City boasts an array of personalities in their squad and they are contemplating a massive bid for the Catalan kid. With Chelsea also having interest in Busquets, it is going to be a tug-of-war for his signature if negotiations advance in January.
The Spanish international could fit in well at the Etihad, considering the future of hard-man Nigel de Jong is unclear. Plus with buddy David Silva and other Spanish-speaking players already at City, his transition can be a lot more comfortable.
6. Ezequiel Lavezzi
Not only is Mancini and his coaches anxious to bid for the Napoli forward in January, but City striker Sergio Aguero has urged his Argentine teammate to come join him in Manchester.
Lavezzi is a compact striker who is helping guide the Naples affiliate to heights not seen since Diego Maradona was treading in the Sao Paulo. His club is competitive in both the Serie A and the Champions League, and Napoli will not let a key player like Lavezzi just walk out the door so easily.
It is going to take a monumental bid from City to pry the Argentine from southwest Italy. But money is obviously not an issue for this club and a bid is inevitable.
7. Robin Van Persie
The Dutch striker is terrorizing the Premier League and the 2011 calendar year has been dominated by RVP. City would pull of a major coup of they landed him in January, and Arsenal would be idiotic to let that happen.
And since the Gunners are unwilling to discuss RVP’s future until the end of the season, City will come calling in January. Arsene Wenger’s side is starting to regain confidence and if they let their only source of scoring leave to a rival like City, fans at the Emirates will be none too pleased.
8. Wesley Sneijder
First United, now City; the Inter midfielder has stated his intentions to leave before and it might happen once the new year begins.
The playmaker has had success at the Milan-based club but feels it is time for a change of scenery. But Sneijder is so back and forth with his stance that it is never clear what he truly wants.
Mancini would gladly pay the necessary money to get the Dutchman on the blue half of Manchester, and that would surely sting the likes of Sir Alex Ferguson.
9. Lewis Dunk
Dunk is a burly central defender with limited professional experience, but the likes of Arsenal, Fulham and Manchester City all see potential in the talented 20-year-old. A meager £5million will be enough to pry him from Brighton but if it comes down to a bidding war, I obviously expect the Citizens to walk away winners.
It is odd to see such an insignificant name on this list but that just means Mancini sees a lot in this kid. Perhaps City will debunk their usual big spending exploits and opt for some youth in the transfer window as well.
10. Paul Pogba
The 18-year-old French midfielder has been on the books for the Red Devils since 2009, but he is yet to break into the first team for Sir Alex.
Also, his future at Old Trafford is fuzzy at the moment and United are pondering whether or not to let him go once his contract expires next summer. He is heavily touted but hasn’t been able to officially break through, and Mancini is hoping to give the gifted youngster a lifeline in January.
While the verdict is still out on Pogba I envision him being successful once he gets the opportunity to play. He is still incredibly young and has the future on his side, so City is keen on luring him across town.
11. Marek Hamsik
Another Napoli man, it looks like Mancini is ready to snatch up just about everybody playing for the Azzurri.
The Slovakian midfielder is on everyone’s must-have list and the biggest clubs are anxious to see if he stays in Naples. He has come out and squashed rumors before, but City are an aggressive bunch and would not hesitate to throw a few towering bids Napoli’s way.
For the most part, the fate of Hamsik and his colleagues is dependent on Napoli’s passionate president Aurelio De Laurentiis. The outspoken owner has reiterated countless times his players are not for sale, but once again we are talking about City, and they will continue to inquire as the new year beckons.
12. Milos Krasic
But he has been falling out with coach Antonio Conte lately and refuses to be demoted to the bench, so the Serbian is on the search for a new home. A previous bid was rejected by Juve over the summer, and January is the perfect time to come with a fresh bid.
Krasic is a tricky winger who can certainly add depth to the Citizens competitive midfield, but if he finds himself out of the starting XI for some games, will he resort to acting out again? Mancini is willing to take a risk and wants to sway the winger away from others and bring him to Manchester.
13. Daniele De Rossi
Born and raised a Roman, Daniele De Rossi is a world-class midfielder who envisions replicating his friend and idol, Francesco Totti, and one day taking the captain’s armband for Roma.
But Capitan Futuro, as the Roma faithful call him, has been mixed with his feelings and there have been times where it appeared he would be on his way out the Stadio Olimpico. Nevertheless he is a hot commodity in world football, and just like every leading club, Mancini wants to bring De Rossi to his team.
While it looks unlikely he will leave in January that is certainly not going to stop City from placing a wager. It is going to take inordinate amounts of money to get him away from Rome but I expect Mancini and company to come out firing in the transfer window.