With Carlos Tevez now exiled to Turin, the rebuilding of Manchester City’s squad is set to move up a a notch up or two. Jesus Navas has already been secured, but that is likely to be only the first of a number of acquisitions as new manager Pellegrini seeks to put his stamp on the squad.
With Tevez gone, and Bosnian Edin Dzeko also thought to be likely to move on during the transfer window, it is understood that the Chilean has targeted Benfica’s Oscar Cordozo as a ready-made replacement. The Paraguayan striker is now 30 years old, and perhaps it seemed likely that his chance of a big money move had gone, but it’s understood that Pellegrini rates him highly, and if a compromise can be reached on the £17million that Benfica are thought to be asking for his signature, a deal could go through. The robust and physical style of Cordozo certainly seems to be a sound fit for the rigours of Premier League football and his record of 106 goals in 160 games for the Eagles of Lisbon offers sound testament to the fact that he knows how to place the ball in the onion bag!
A similar description could be made about another of City’s targets, the real Madrid and Portugal centre back, Pepe. The centre back is also 30 years old, and it is thought that with the growing maturity of young French defender Raphael Verane – ten years Pepe’s junior – the Spanish club will be prepared to talk business – especially now that Mourinho has left. Whilst it may be thought that buying a 30 year old centre back is a backward step, it probably represents sound squad accumulation logic for City. With Belgian Vincent Kompany ensconced at centre back, and the impressive Nastsic showing great promise, adding a player of Pepe’s experience into the mix, backed by Joleon Lescott would mean City are well supplied in cover for the centre of defence.
Pellegrini is a wily operator in the ways of football and fully appreciates that the best balanced squads are comprised of a combination of young breaking talents, and old hands who know how to get the job done. City fans shouldn't see the purchase of a couple of ‘mature’ players as short-term. For the club, the short term is next season, and if Pellegrini can build the squad to deliver in the ways that they lamentably failed to do last season, it will be a good part of his job accomplished.