City transfer talk: 28 July – Jo and Santa Cruz linked with exits
With other teams looking to form their squads for the new season, today brings fresh interest in two strikers who are likely to leave City this Summer.
First we find Jo linked with Blackburn. Big Sam likes a big striker, but Jo is hardly your archetypal target man. Maybe Allardyce believes he can shape Jo’s potential into something more solid and suitable for the Premier League. One thing’s for sure, the shrewd Allardyce won’t be paying the kind of sums Blackburn charged us for Roque Santa Cruz.
The possibility of Jo heading to Real Sociedad is resurrected in El Mundo. Spain may suit Jo better than Lancashire. In the meantime he can continue leading our attack in pre-season.
Santa Cruz himself could be the subject of an offer by Stoke as Tony Pulis looks for a striker to replace those he’s fallen out with (James Beattie and Dave Kitson). Roque’s certainly tall enough to qualify for a Tony Pulis striker, but whether our Paraguayan is sufficiently enticed by the Britannia Stadium remains to be seen. Marseille could be another option.
Mario Balotelli looks increasingly likely to be our next incoming striker. Inter president Massimo Moratti is laying the groundwork for the player leaving, with a deal possibly concluded when the two clubs meet in America.
“Balotelli remains a great talent, but for us it’s almost an obligation to let him go.”
The difference of opinion between City and Villa on James Milner’s value looks like holding that deal up for a while yet, with Martin O’Neill unsurprisingly saying he’d be happy for Milner to stay.
However our problems with Villa are minor compared to those with Wolfsburg when it comes to Edin Dzeko. It’s being reported that City have given up on signing the Bosnian striker and are looking elsewhere. Our hopes of signing the player for around £25m seem negligible and maybe we should have taken the buy-out price of £33m when we had the chance.
The one piece of good news is Juventus look like signing Milos Krasic, which means they will unable to sign Dzeko.
Balotelli is no alternative to Dzeko and it will be interesting to see if we can manufacture a deal for Ibrahimovic if the Bosnian isn’t coming. The Barca striker would hardly be a cheap alternative.