Transfer round-up – Sanchez, Cissokho, Cahill, Mata
With the Alexis Sanchez transfer turning into a saga of epic proportions, City are enduring a frustrating time in the current transfer window. Financial Fair Play is clearly affecting the buying of players, but selling clubs continue to ask exhorbitant prices.
Reading between the lines, and there’s a great many of them, Sanchez appears to want to move to Barcelona but Udinese are set upon driving the price up as high as possible. Without Barca’s interest the Chilean may well have been a City player by now, but the appeal of the European Champions is undeniable.
Unfortunately for the player, Barca won’t match our offer, so the saga goes on. Hopefully it will be resolved by the start of the Copa America at the beginning of July.
City have been here before with our bids for Ronaldinho and Eto, and should bear in mind there are other good players around. Juan Mata is having an excellent time at the U-21 championships and would make a fantastic signing.
The Spaniard is different to Sanchez in being suited to a free midfield role on the left and centrally – similar to Silva. They were successful together at Valencia and could offer the fluidity that Mancini likes in our attacking play.
It’s a surprise to see Barca pushing so hard for Sanchez and showing no interest in Mata. The Spaniard appears a better fit for their style of play than the direct and erratic Chilean.
A more like-for-like alternative to Sanchez would be Eden Hazard, but Lille have stated they are against selling the 20-year-old Belgian in this transfer window.
Elsewhere the big news this week has been Garry Cook and Brian Marwood’s trip to Lyon to see about a possible move for Aly Cissokho. With Kolarov’s failure to live up to expectation, a new left-back has always been on the cards. Baines is often mentioned, but little appears to happen.
Neither player is entirely convincing. Baines has enjoyed a good season playing under Moyes, who can make decent players look better than they are – similar to Milner and Barry under O’Neill.
Cissokho has had a poor season though people still talk of his potential. He relies on his physique rather than great technique and is similar to Richards. He would fit into the Premier League in terms of offering pace and strength down the flank.
Talk of Gary Cahill joining us has diminished since Kolo received a shorter ban than many were predicting.
Cahill’s prospects of joining us may now depend on whether Boateng gets his wish of a move back to Germany. It was a disastrous first season for Jerome, but he has more talent than Cahill and could come good at centre-back.
It would be a travesty to sell Boateng for less than it would cost to replace him with a less talented player but, annoyingly, that could happen.
There’s better news with the captain, as it increasingly looks like Tevez is staying. This is a big relief, as finding a replacement who can both score his goals and augment the midfield in the ‘false 9’ position would have been nigh on impossible. His committment off the pitch may be less than admirable, but ultimately it’s what he does on it that matters, and Carlos does deliver.
Whether we ought to be spending big money on Cahill when we are well served at centre-back is open to question. We have lost Vieira from midfield and Barry can’t be relied upon to perform in both Premier League and Champions League fixtures. When de Jong is missing the midfield looks weak and signing someone else who can hold it together would be more of a priority for me.
Instead City have continued to be linked with other big money signings in the creative areas, but it’s hard to see these coming off:
- Fabregas – even more than Sanchez, the Spaniard only wants Barca.
- Modric – has stated his desire to stay in London and sign for Chelsea. Also Daniel Levy is digging his heels in and would demand a huge price.
- Sneijder – Older than other targets and would require huge fee and wages. (Should have bought him off Madrid two years ago)
- Pastore – Great ability but with an even bigger asking price. There would also be doubts about how long it would take him to adapt to Premier League midfield life.
- Aguero – As above in terms of ability and asking price. Appears to favour a move to Real.
There’s still plenty of time to make the required signings and sales (that’s another story), though it’s doubtful everything will be done before pre-season training, as Mancini had hoped.
The signings we’d like to see remain the same:
- Sanchez or failing that, Hazard as a wing replacement for Wright-Phillips. Juan Mata would be fantastic too.
- Cissokho at left-back.
- A new midfield anchor to take the pressure off de Jong and replace Vieira in the squad.
- A back-up goalkeeper assuming Given leaves for first team football.
- Boateng and Tevez to stay.
- A few more youngsters like Denis Suarez, who sounds highly promising.