City incoming transfer talk: 26 July – More Torres talk, Balotelli more likely
Speaking in America, Roberto Mancini again raised the idea of City signing Fernando Torres. With Liverpool officials still trying to convince El Nino to remain on Merseyside, Mancini’s words were interestingly timed.
“Torres is one of the best strikers in Europe and is already playing in the Premier League for three years and knows it very well. But it depends on his situation – his price and whether he wants to come.
The price Liverpool would ask, and whether Torres would move to a non-Champions League side still make this transfer highly unlikely. Maybe Mancini is just reminding Inter Milan and Wolfsburg that we have other irons in the fire while we try to negotiate a better price for Balotelli and Dzeko.
Once again we have reports from Italy that City have agreed a deal for Balotelli and the transfer is looking closer. The Mirror claim his agent has agreed a four year deal worth £65k per week, and Balotelli had a leaving party at the weekend to celebrate. Elsewhere the deal is said to be 4 million euros a year for five years. Football Italia claims the initial fee is 30 million euros.
Mario is certainly leaving Milan to go on Inter’s pre-season tour of America. The big question is whether he will still be their player when City play the Italian champions at the weekend.
“He is one of the four or five strikers that interest us. I was the first to believe in him and I’m convinced about what he can do.”
“Mario has two qualities that suit us, his talent and his age.”
James Milner is due back for pre-season training at Villa today. This could be the tipping-point where City have their much anticipated £24m offer officially accepted. The only thing likely to prevent a deal is Villa digging their heals in for £30m. Martin O’Neill is capable of this as Gareth Barry can testify when Liverpool rubbed him up the wrong way in their attempts to sign the England midfielder.
“He is still a player who interests us but only at the right price.”