With the bookies’ odds on Manuel Pellegrini taking over as the new Manchester City boss getting shorter by the day, there’s speculation as to who he will want to lavish the club’s expansive transfer budget on. Starsport are reporting that there will be a two year deal in place, with a contract totalling in excess of £9million. Somewhat more than that will be spent on player acquisitions. According to the same report, the list contains five names.
It’s probably no surprise to anyone to hear that most of Pellegrini’s targets are currently plying their trade in Spain. It’s a league that the Chilean knows intimately. The list is apparently headed by the Chilean’s current charge, Isco. Currently one of the hottest young prospects in La Liga, the Malaga player has been touted for a likely exit from the cash-strapped Andalucian club. The 21 year old is tipped for big things, offering an ability to play across the midfield roles. Even at a range of about £25million, he’s a known quantity to Pellegrini and it’s a sound investment for the club.
The next player on the list is Real Madrid wide man Angel di Maria. Given the managerial apparently in the offing at the Bernabeu, it seems highly likely that there’ll be a few ins and outs at the club, and the Argentinian could certainly be one of them. Although a regular member of Jose Mourinho’s starting eleven that may not be the case for the new manager.
Pellegrini is apparently also targeting another Andalucian club for a further two acquisitions. The targets are Sevilla pair of Jesus Navas and Geoffrey Kondigba. Should Navas be available, City however may not be the only interested party. With twenty-odd caps in the best international team in the world, Navas will be attractive to a number of elite clubs. Pellegrini will however doubtless expect City to flex their financial muscles to seal the deal.
Kondogbia is the dogged holding midfielder that City have lacked since de Jong was parcelled off. At just 20, he’s still very much the unfinished article, so the competition for his signature should be much less intense. Safe to say however, that when City come knocking, the price will not be cheap.
The last name on the list is the only non-La Liga player. Marco Reus has been pulling up trees for Borussia Dortmund in their Champions’ League run, and has the ability and potential to be the type of player that Nasri appears to be incapable of becoming. It may well be in City’s interests to get any deal sewn up sooner rather than later, as a stellar performance by the German in the upcoming Wembley final will only add to the price tag.
It’s an ambitious overhaul for the City squad, but it could be argued that this is precisely what is required. Should the club land Pellegrini and his famous five however, it’s a pretty safe bet that the club’s title challenge will be somewhat more resilient than this season’s.