With UEFA restrictions casting a dampener on City’s spending plans, the Citizens are unlikely to add any more big names to their squad after the Eliaquim Mangala deal has gone through.
After protracted transfer negotiations French centre back Eliaquim Mangala is set to complete his £32m move from Porto in the next few days. City had previously been linked with another centre back, Moroccan international Mehdi Benatia, who is now attracting interest from Chelsea.
The £32m fee paid for Mangala- in addition to earlier purchases of Fernando, also from Porto, for £12m and keeper Willy Caballero for £4.5m – brings City very close to the £49m spending cap imposed by UEFA. Another issue for the Manchester club is the lack of homegrown players in the squad, with the Premier league setting a maximum of 17 foreign players while only 16 are allowed in their UEFA-reduced 21-man Champions league squad.
The Premier League champions currently have 18 foreigners on their books and the English contingent may decline further with the possible sale of Jack Rodwell and Micah Richards.
With the arrival of Malinga, it appears that centre back Matija Nastasić will be surplus to requirements at the Etihad. The Mirror reports that the 21-year-old Serbian may be bound for Italy with both Juventus and Roma interested, although it remains to be seen if either will come up with City’s £15m asking price, report The Mirror.
Yaya Toure’s high-profile birthday cake spat with City has apparently died down and the Ivorian is expected to stay at the Etihad according to the Manchester Evening News. However, at age 31 the club are looking at long term replacements.
Paul Pogba of Juventus and Everton’s Ross Barkley are two potential targets, reports the same paper. Pogba, thanks to a three-year stint at Old Trafford, would qualify as a homegrown player. The Frenchman’s departure from Manchester United on a free transfer enraged Sir Alex Ferguson. However, the £49m spending cap means it’s unlikely that City will be in a position to table the big money bid that would be required to land either of these players.
Dan O’Mahony, Pundit Arena.