There is increasing amount of worry and fear spreading throughout the legions of City fans out there, and quite frankly, I believe they are getting themselves worked up over nothing. That isn't to say that I believe no strengthening is required, clearly we could do with some extra cover at the heart of the defence, and someone to lessen the blow of losing Yaya Toure to the African Cup of Nations, but I do believe those signings will happen before too long, but we just have to be patient and bide our time to ensure that we only do deals that are right for Manchester City, and avoid caving into the demands of the selling club.
A whole myriad of different players have been mooted as potential signings, and the newspapers are having a bit of a field day whipping up whatever hysteria they can, so which of these have a chance of coming off, and which are just made up my the work experience kid at the paper. My thoughts on that are below:
Scott Sinclair: It was rumoured over the weekend and into this week that the Swansea winger was close to completing a £8M move to Eastlands, these claims were quickly quashed by the powers that be at the Liberty Stadium, but it still seems a possibility to me. Debate has raged over whether the Englishman is an upgrade on Adam Johnson, but for me that is slightly missing the point. Sinclair is quick, extremely quick and that is something that we have a total lack of in our squad. Whilst he may not be the first name on the team sheet, he would offer something different, and something that our other winger simply doesn't. I'd probably prefer Victor Moses personally, but would not be disheartened if we were to make a concrete move for the former Chelsea man. His signing would signal the end of Adam Johnson at Eastlands and that could possibly make him a key element in any chase for Daniel Agger, but more on that later. I can see Sinclair at City, he wouldn't cost the earth and he would provide a different threat, Mancini seems keen on adding a decent winger as the chase for Eden Hazard proved, we missed out there, and this is clearly a bargain basement alternative, but for me, it's worth a go.
Transfer Likelihood: 8/10
Daniel Agger: Again this could be another case of identifying a 'cheaper' alternative to a highly desirable player. I have made no attempt to cover my admiration for young Spaniard Javi Martinez, however with the European Championships and then the Olympics, any move to secure the Bilbao man has proved difficult. It appears that is now dead in the water, and Agger is being viewed as the man to strengthen our defence. Whether the Liverpool defender is better than Joleon Lescott is cause for debate, but one thing is pretty definite, he is better than Savic and Kolo Toure. He would be a good addition to the backline, and would make us much less reliant on Kompany, currently we are one injury away from a defensive crisis, the capture of Agger would change that. Perhaps the 2 biggest drawbacks are the fee and his injury record. He may initially have been identified as a more affordable option than Martinez, but after seeing our £18M bid rejected that is perhaps more debatable. Word coming out of Liverpool is that they want £27M for the 27 year old, or alternatively, £23M plus Adam Johnson. Personally, at those prices I think we should walk away and go back to the Spanish option, but with Johnson perhaps looking surplus to requirement as time passes there could be the possibility of a deal being done here.
Transfer Likelihood: 7/10
Javi Martinez: Martinez is a classy player, and a versatile player, and at 23 he has the vast majority of his career ahead of him, that is perhaps why the asking the price for him is so high. At £32M it would be a huge expenditure on a relatively young player and that is what is believed to have put us off. The high price tag being placed on Agger however may push us back towards the Spaniard. There has been no shortage of interest in the defender/midfielder, with strong links being made between player at Bayern Munich and Barcelona. The Catalan club appear to have dropped their interest and turned their attention to Alex Song, so that could make his signature slightly easier to obtain (not that Bayern Munich won't offer hard competition). The word coming out of the club is that not much has changed in terms of a move for Martinez, an informal offer was placed, but it was short of the desired price that his club has put on him. Equally comfortable in midfield and the heart of the defence he would obviously offer a lot, and personally he is the player I would like to see arrive the most this Summer, sadly though, I think the chances of that are getting pretty slim, but if Liverpool refuse to play ball on Agger, you never know.
Transfer Likelihood: 5/10
Daniele De Rossi: Ah, the story that just will never go away. Of all the players we have been linked with, the Italian is the one that Mancini wants the most. Like Martinez, he can play at the heart of the defence, but I think the more likely scenario would see him parked in the middle of the field breaking up player and generally making a nuisance of himself. This isn't the first time that a club has tried to bring the 29 year old to England, our neighbours tried on numerous occasions but never got particularly close to capturing him, with the money on offer from the blue side of Manchester however that could soon change. The word coming out of Roma is positive, they have publicly said that if the player wants to leave, they wouldn't stand in his way as long as they were offered what they deemed a reasonable amount. De Rossi signed a new deal in January, the cynic in me would suggest that was a way of keeping his price as high as possible, but it would also ensure whatever deal is on the table must be a truly astronomical figure that would most likely see the battling midfielder as one of the clubs top earners. A few weeks ago this seemed dead in the water, but things are now looking pretty positive, and with Marwood supposedly in Italy, who knows what deals are being done.
Transfer Likelihood: 8/10
Robin Van Persie: The longest transfer saga of this Summer just continues to roll on and on and is showing no sign of coming to any sort of conclusion. If we were to believe the official words coming out of each interested party this would appear pretty cut and dry, Juventus and ourselves claim that no deal will be done, whilst that lot from the red side of the City are getting frustrated trying to get a transfer sorted. That would suggest he is Old Trafford bound, only it's never that simple. Word coming out of Arsenal is that they don't want to sell the Dutchman to United, supposedly they would put £5M onto their £20M asking price in order to ratify a move to their once great rivals making it a deal that the power brokers in Salford appear unlikely to go for. Where that leaves City is unknown, I don't believe we have walked away like Mancini and others may want you to believe, but at the same time, we are quite rightly standing firm and showing that we aren't prepared to overpay for a 29 year old with a dodgy injury record. Ultimately this move could still come off, I would suggest that it is make or break time for Edin Dzeko, if he can convince Roberto Mancini he is committed to City, I don't see this happening, if the club have any doubt, we may very well return to the negotiating table.
Transfer Likelihood: 6/10
The best of the other rumours:
Edinson Cavani: Always seemed to be the backup for RVP, but all seems eerily quiet as rumours circulate that Chelsea are considering a move. I'd love him at the club, but seems unlikely at this point. Transfer Likelihood: 4/10
Leandro Damiao: The Brazilian forward has had a very productive Olympic football tournament and Spurs are sniffing. We looked at him several months ago and didn't make a move, nothing has changed. Transfer Likelihood: 2/10
Cheikhou Kouyate: The Senegalese youngster has had a good Olympics and was excellent for Anderlecht last season. We have scouted him before and shown interest, the player himself has suggested however he isn't good enough yet. Propertied interest from Arsenal however may make us formalise an offer. Transfer Likelihood: 5/10
We may have left it late, but I can still see a busy few weeks for us in the transfer market. I can see 3 arriving if i'm honest, and if I have to commit to 3 names i'll go for Sinclair, De Rossi and Agger. With my track record though, that probably means we'll end up with none of them!