Why aren’t Man City making an official bid for Pjanic?

July 31, 2018 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Transfer Rumors 

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has played down talk of signing Juventus midfielder Miralem Pjanic this summer. The 28-year-old has been linked with a move to the Etihad Stadium after Jorginho snubbed the Sky Blues and joined up with his old Napoli manager at Chelsea. Pjanic would be a great signing for City, as he’s a playmaker who scores and creates goals and seldom relinquishes possession. So why aren’t the Citizens making a bid?

Juventus asking for too much money

According to Simon Mullock of the Sunday Mirror, Juventus want £90m for the Bosnia-Herzegovina international, which would smash City’s transfer record. The club haven’t pulled off much transfer business this summer, only signing Riyad Mahrez from Leicester City, but it doesn’t appear they will meet Juve’s asking price to complete their second signing of the window.

The Old Lady signed Pjanic for a bargain in 2016, paying only £25m to AS Roma to bring him to Turin. He’s gone on to make 91 appearances in all competitions, scoring and creating 43 goals while winning two Serie A titles and two Coppa Italias. Last season, Pjanic contributed 21 goals in 44 games in all competitions.

He’s a talented player who could thrive under a manager like Pep Guardiola, but City aren’t going to pay £90m to bring him to the Etihad Stadium. It’s a blow as the central midfielder is perfectly suited to their style of play. Last season, he averaged 67 passes-per-game with a 90% completion ratio while averaging a tackle or interception every 25 minutes.

The player himself has tried to distance himself from rumours surrounding his Juventus future too, saying in a recent interview: “I listen to a lot of things that are not true. I’m cool. I’m preparing for my new season. That’s what’s the most important.

“What I did the last two seasons for Juventus was really great, and I am happy with what I’m doing here. I am cool, and I don’t care about what they are writing because I listen and I read a lot of things. A lot of things are not true.”

So, Pjanic may not come to the Etihad Stadium as a replacement for Jorginho unless Juventus lower their asking price. But considering the midfielder has three years remaining on his existing deal and is indispensable to the squad, why would they? Fans will surely be hoping they don’t give up on the Bosnia-Herzegovina playmaker, but Pjanic could prove to be an expensive pursuit.

Mahrez will be fit for Man City’s Community Shield clash with Chelsea

July 30, 2018 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: News, Transfer Rumors 

Manchester City have been given good news on Riyad Mahrez, with the Algerian international given the all-clear after an ankle knock threatened to sideline him for Sunday’s Community Shield final with Chelsea. Mahrez picked up the initial injury against Bayern Munich in last Saturday’s pre-season friendly and wore a protective boot after being brought off which had fans fearing the worse.

However, the former Leicester City winger had a scan on the ankle which has revealed no significant damage. Mahrez could now be in the squad to face Chelsea, but it’s highly unlikely he will start the match. He joined the Sky Blues on July 10 for £60m and could be pushing for a regular spot in the starting lineup when fit. With so many options in attack, Mahrez’s absence wouldn’t harm City too badly.

Mahrez could start ahead of Sane

Manager Pep Guardiola was desperate to procure his signature this summer, so he’ll be relieved to see Mahrez hasn’t sustained a serious ankle injury. The 27-year-old has stiff competitions for a starting place – Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sane, Gabriel Jesus, Bernardo Silva – but it could be Sane who makes way for the new arrival.

Guardiola has been public about his criticism of the German international in pre-season, suggesting Sane still need to do a lot of work off the ball before he’ll be ready for the new campaign, so Mahrez has every chance of leapfrogging the 22-year-old in the pecking order.

“It depends on him. He needs more minutes and he needs to regain his principles in terms of playing without the ball. He has the talent to do that. Still, he is far away from his best,” Guardiola said.

Despite Sane coming off the back of an outstanding season with City, Mahrez is a proven talent in the Premier League and will soon get among the goals and assists in a City shirt. He shone in his final year at Leicester and is adept in transition – turning defence into attack in a matter of seconds – which will hold him in good stead at the Etihad.

City were nearly ruing their bad luck with Mahrez’s ankle injury, with Guardiola admitting he was “concerned” at the time. But now the forward could play an important role in the side this season. With Bernardo Silva having struggled for form and playing time in 2017/18, there’s reason to believe the Algerian international is somewhat of a successor.

Zinchenko to stay at Manchester City but is he good enough?

July 30, 2018 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Transfer Rumors 

Manchester City midfielder Oleksandr Zinchenko recently revealed his desire to stay at the club despite an offer from Wolverhampton Wanderers being accepted by the Sky Blues this summer. His versatility got him playing time in 2017/18, operating as a makeshift left-back with Benjamin Mendy out injured, but it’s hard to see where he’ll fit into the team when everybody is fit. Nevertheless, he’s determined to stay in Manchester.

“To be honest, I think Manchester City is one of the best teams in the world right now. Everyone dreams of playing here, and that goes for me as well. I try to learn every single day and I’m going to fight here,” he said. “I’m ready for everything because I have to be professional. You don’t know what can happen in the future, but I’m dreaming of staying here. Everyone wants to be part of this team.”

After Chelsea beat City to the signature of Jorginho, manager Pep Guardiola stated his intention to use his midfielders on the bench and fringes of the first-team as cover. That meant the likes of Ilkay Gundogan, Fabian Delph, Claudio Gomes and Zinchenko could play a somewhat important role next season. City reportedly accepted a £16m bid from Wolves for the young midfielder, however, suggesting he’s surplus to requirements.

And with only 14 appearances in all competitions after joining City from Ufa in 2016, the Ukrainian international has a tough task edging his way into the first-team. Zinchenko spent his debut campaign on loan at PSV Eindhoven and was utilised by Guardiola at left wing-back in his second season.  He’s a natural midfielder who can adapt to different roles, but there’s too much competition all over the squad.

The Sky Blues have Kevin de Bruyne and David Silva who are expected to operate in midfield, with Fernandinho anchoring, while Gundogan and Delph are waiting in the wings. In defence, Benjamin Mendy is expected to start the new season at left-back, but Delph provided a useful deputy when called upon.  Danilo has also featured on the left side of the defence.

It’s not a big surprise that Zinchenko wants to stay regardless, as City won the Premier League title with 100 points last season, but he’s unlikely to feature much in their title defence when looking at the players ahead of him in the pecking order. As a tactically-aware 21-year-old, Zinchenko would be a good signing for a lot of clubs, but is he good enough to stay at the Etihad?

Looks like Aguero will be staying at Manchester City next season

July 27, 2018 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: News, Transfer Rumors 

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola was inundated with questions about the future of Sergio Aguero at the end of last season, with many outlets suggesting the Argentinean international could depart the Etihad Stadium. However, Guardiola always denied such a claim and it appears he was telling the truth considering the Sky Blues legend remains at the club ahead of the 2018/19 season.

Aguero, who has been at City since his 2011-move from Atletico Madrid, was the club’s top scorer last season, netting 21 goals in only 22 Premier League starts. The 30-year-old scored more than Raheem Sterling in fewer games but came away with little praise for his antics. He finally made the PFA Team of the Year for his antics last season, but media outlets still believed Guardiola would sell him. Why?

City have a club legend averaging close to a goal a game in the Premier League, so the Sky Blues boss will never let him go unless he was causing problems behind the scenes. And given Aguero revealed in June that his relationship with Guardiola is good and that he has no plans to leave the club this summer, the pair should continue working for at least another season.

The Argentine’s contract expires in 2020 and the striker has openly admitted he could return to his homeland when his deal is up at the Etihad. He’s been in Manchester for seven years, scoring a total of 199 goals in 292 games in all competitions and will play an important role in the squad next season.

Gabriel Jesus often replaced Aguero in the starting lineup last season and will be prominent in the starting eleven this coming campaign, but there’s still a place for the fan favourite. He’s scored 20 or more league goals in each of the last four seasons and only Harry Kane (105) has scored more than Aguero (91) during this period.

With the South American forward lacking the same athleticism and industry as Jesus, it’s of little surprise that Guardiola will occasionally rest Aguero, but his incredible goalscoring record means he’s always a threat when on the pitch. His advancing age will likely mean more appearances from the bench next season, but Aguero can still find the net in limited time.

Without him in the squad, City are short on depth in attack. Jesus, Aguero and Sterling at likely to be the first-team options up front for next season. It may seem obvious that Aguero is staying at the Etihad, but that wasn’t always the case earlier in the summer. Fans will be delighted the rumours have died down now.

Gunn and Zinchenko could be moved on permanently by Man City this summer

June 29, 2018 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Transfer Rumors, Transfer Targets 

Manchester City goalkeeper Angus Gunn and midfielder Oleksandr Zinchenko could be sold this summer, with the pair having little chance of getting regular first-team football next season.

The Sky Blues could be selling and loaning out more players than they bring in this summer, but the money generated could help to get some big deals over the line.

Southampton would be good move for Gunn

Gunn spent 2017/18 out on loan with former side Norwich City and is unlikely to dethrone Ederson as first-choice ‘keeper under Pep Guardiola. Claudio Bravo should remain the Brazilian’s back-up next season, meaning Gunn will be forced to move to continue his development and it appears that a permanent deal looks on the cards rather than another loan.

Southampton are reported to be in talks with City over a £15m deal for the 22-year-old who has yet to make a first-team appearances for the Sky Blues. Gunn is highly-rated and kept a respectable 16 clean sheets during his loan spell with Norwich last season. He’s also been called up to the England national team, although he’s yet to make an appearance.

Gunn would be a loss to City given his obvious potential, but if game time is going to allude him in Manchester, he has to seek out assurances elsewhere. Southampton are well known for developing young talents and may well give Gunn a chance from the start next season due to their issues between the sticks.

Mark Hughes’ men conceded 56 goals in the Premier League last season. Alex McCarthy and Fraser Forster shared the goalkeeping responsibility. If a No.1 isn’t set in stone ahead of 2018/19, Gunn stands a chance of working his way up the pecking order.

Right move to sell Zinchenko

Further reports have suggested City midfielder Zinchenko is available for sale. The 21-year-old joined from Ufa in 2016, spent his debut season on loan at PSV Eindhoven before returning to his parent club and being used sparingly by Guardiola.

Zinchenko was often utilised as a makeshift left-back and left wing-back, a role that was previously alien to him as a central midfielder and chances were few and far between anyway. The Ukrainian international made just six Premier League starts last season, spending the majority of the campaign as an unused substitute or being left out of the matchday squad entirely.

City are believed to have received offers between £10m-£20m for his signature, but there’s no deal on the horizon with a suitor just yet. Zinchenko might be considering his future at the Etihad, as Benjamin Mendy, Danilo and Fabian Delph stand in his way at left-back, while Ilkay Gundogan, Kevin de Bruyne, Fernandinho and David Silva are ahead of him in the midfield pecking order.

If City can sell Gunn and Zinchenko for a good amount this summer, the money could be reinvested into transfer funds to help Jorginho’s move from Napoli and Riyad Mahrez’s move from Leicester City.

Man City planning to spend big on de Ligt in summer transfer window

May 10, 2018 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Transfer Rumors 

Manchester City football club are in the shopping mode and are preparing to make a whopping £ 50 million bid for Matthijs de Ligt, the Ajax wonder kid, during the summer transfer window.

Although there is no shortage of central defenders in the Pep Guardiola’s side, as there are able central defenders such as John Stones, Aymeric Laporte, Nicolas Otamendi and Vincent Kompany to guard the team’s half, everyone knows that the captain Kompany isn’t getting any younger at 32. Guardiola has identified a very able long-term replacement in the form of the Belgian player, for the Man City team.

To be chased during the upcoming summer transfer window

All teams are planning to put their houses in order during the upcoming summer transfer window. For those who may not be aware, the summer transfer window is expected to open around June 10, when the entire world would be prepping for the start of the FIFA World Cup 2018. Having mentioned the pinnacle event, it’s also worth mentioning that FIFA World Cup betting is as popular as the event itself, and punters everywhere keenly await its start every four years!

Manchester City stars have always shone bright for their respective countries at the FIFA World Cup and this time it’d be no different.

Coming back to de Ligt, regardless of being only 18, he is rated very highly at the Johan Cruyff Arena, considered by many as one of the best prospects to come out of Europe, after getting drafted into the Ajax’s first team in 2017. He is scheduled to play with Ajax until 2021 and they’d be expecting a hefty sum from anyone wanted to bid for the young defender. However, Man City believe that they have the means and strategy to somehow bring him on board.

Please note, it’s not just the Sky Blues who are targeting the player, even Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Arsenal have shown interest in the defender. Apparently, Man City is leading the race for the defender right now.

Anyone who follows Premier League regularly would know how he played a key role alongside Davinson Sanchez (now Tottenham defender) for Ajax during the last season.

Guardiola’s take

Upon being enquired about Vincent Kompany’s future at Man City, Pep Guardiola had to say, “We will see. We miss him when he is not fit. When he fit, he is one of the best central defenders I have seen in my life, from his personality to covering in the box.” However, when asked about his future after the Premier League victory, the captain said that he’s hungrier than ever!

“At the start of this season, there was problems. Hopefully, next season, that won’t happen. But it is the same case with Yaya Toure as it is with Vinny. They have already won three Premier Leagues. When you win three Premier Leagues, you have to start to talk about something serious because it is not easy to win one,” he further added.

On the whole, Pep’s take is that with regard to Vincent it depends entirely on him as well as his physical condition. The coach is of the opinion that the captain will be honest with himself to say if he can continue to play regularly or not.

Manchester City fringe players who can now be offloaded to cut the wage bill

July 26, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Transfer Rumors 

Manchester City are on the verge of signing Sergio Aguero from Atletico Madrid for a large transfer fee, and the diminutive Argentine will be paid handsomely for swapping the Vicente Calderon for Eastlands. With another high paid star on the books, and the club one of the biggest spenders in terms of salaries in Europe, a number of players need to be sold to recuperate the transfer fees spent and limit the wage bill.

Although Sheik Mansour and the owners of the football club are not overly concerned with the amount of money spent given the multi-millions at their disposal, Fifa’s new financial fair play ruling could have a real impact on the leading clubs over the next couple of seasons. With a deal to sell the naming rights of the stadium in place to help to try and balance the profit and loss account, the next sensible move is to ditch a number of top earning players that do not warrant large salaries.

Read more

Hughes Gets Time

January 5, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Mark Hughes, Transfer Rumors, Transfer Targets 

mark_hughes_1_1216116c

Despite being criticized roundly in the British press when they bought the club, Man City’s new owners have proven they understand the English game better than many other ownership group. Resisting the temptation spurned by gamblers and newspapers to sack Mark Hughes following City’s embarrassing performance in the FA Cup on Saturday, the owners along with Chief Executive Gary Cook maintained that Hughes will be given time to rebuild the squad.

A year and a half after Sven Goran Eriksson remade City in his image, the signings of Summer 2007 represent dead weight for the club. Martin Petrov and Valeri Bojinov are perennially injured, while Elano cannot co-exist it appears with Hughes.

Saturday’s signing of Wayne Bridge is only the beginning of Hughes attempts to bolster the squad. With City eliminated from the FA Cup, the club can concentrate on the league and European qualification for next season. Additionally, elimination from the FA Cup could boost City’s opportunity to compete with enhanced depth in the UEFA Cup.

Hughes deserves the entire season to right the ship should relegation worries not persist. A fair evaluation cannot be done of the manager until May and City’s decisive statement supporting the manager are to be applauded.

Transfer Talk

December 29, 2008 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Transfer Rumors 

Following City’s dramatic come from behind draw at Ewood Park Sunday, Mark Hughes seems revitilized and secure in his job to pursue domestic transfer targets, as suggested on this site over a week ago. With the exception of one of two key players I would personally wait until the Summer to pursue targets from outside English football.

Here are some of the  realistic possible moves.

INCOMING

  • Shay Given
  • Roque Santa Cruz who was signed by Hughes to play for Blackburn last season
  • Stephan Warnock who also played for Hughes.
  • Michael Owen
  • Scott Parker
  • Craig Bellamy
  • David Villa
  • Marcos Senna

OUTGOING

  • Jo
  • Elano
  • Shaun Wright Phillips
  • Kasper Schmiechel

Beginning January 1st we’ll have daily coverage of what is sure to be a frantic month for the club.