City transfer talk: 16 July – Kolarov fee agreed and Balotelli offer made
Last night saw news break that City had agreed a fee with Lazio for Aleksander Kolarov. The morning papers are full of it with the figure claimed to be between 15 and 18.5 million euros.
There is a little jumping the gun here as confirmation has yet to come from either club and the player has still to agree to come to us. Previously Kolarov had been tipped to join Mourinho at first Inter then Real Madrid.
Apparently Madrid had an offer rejected and there’s recently been an increase in speculation linking them with Ashley Cole. Over at Inter, new manager Rafa Benitez is likely to have his own ideas on who to sign, and wouldn’t necessarily go for Kolarov. This should put us in a strong position to seal the deal.
The English press are now casting doubts over the future of Wayne Bridge. They seem to forget City’s stated aim is to have two quality players for each position, and we could be playing over 60 games next season. When Chelsea signed Yuri Zhirkov it didn’t mean the end for Ashley Cole.
Apparently Mancini has spoken today about the need for rotation next season and the players will need to get used to it. Let’s hope the elements of the press prone to idle speculation were listening.
Javier Garrido is the player most likely to make way for Kolarov. Wayne Bridge should be worried if we sign David Luiz.
According to Il Corriere dello Sport, Brian Marwood is in Milan and leading negotiations for Mario Balotelli. They claim an offer of 25 million euros has been made, with an additional 5 million if future targets are reached.
The smooth talking Inter president Massimo Moratti has turned this down, citing interest from United and a claimed desire for 35 million euros. There’s a lot of doubt as to whether United would pay this much. Quite possibly negotiations will continue today and a price can be agreed.
Whether the raw talent and tempestuous temperament of Balotelli warrants such a sum is open to question. For that price a proven, reliable goalscorer might be expected. Still, it would be great to see if Mancini can get the best out of the player.
Balotelli could be seen as the manager’s pet signing in the same way as Hughes had Santa Cruz. One where the board put doubts aside to back the manager.
One final piece on Goal, quotes Maicon’s agent as saying City have made contact regarding the Brazilian right-back. The source – TMW – doesn’t come across as hugely reliable.
Away from the transfer news, one player determined to be in the starting eleven next season appears to be Joe Hart. The Mail claim he is cutting short his holiday to join up with pre-season training and make an impression on Roberto Mancini.