Daily Star: City eye £30m Eliaquim Mangala
- 08 September 2013 08:34
- Posted by @markbooth_mcfc
The injury of Martin Demichelis continues to influence the City-centric headlines that you’re waking up to this Sunday morning.
However, according to Paul Hetherington of the Daily Star, Manuel Pellegrini will wait until January when he’ll spend big on Porto’s French centre back, Eliaquim Mangala.
“New City boss Manuel Pellegrini is planning to steal a march on Chelsea and their bitter rivals across town, Manchester United, who both want Mangala, 22,” Hetherington writes.
“The French defender revealed that City made a late approach for him just before Monday’s transfer deadline.
“But Porto said that the move was too late for them and would leave them without enough time to source a replacement – although they left the door open for City to return in the new year.
“Mangala has a £40m buy-out clause in his contract and City are prepared to offer an initial £30m with the rest to follow in add-ons.”
There are not many recognised free agents currently on the market if Pellegrini does wish to source more immediate defensive reinforcements.
William Gallas heads up a list of players still without a club after he was released by Spurs at the end of last season and City Blogger Simon Curtis has pondered whether the former French international would be a good fit for the Blues in his ESPN Blog.
“If he does sign after reportedly being set for talks with Manuel Pellegrini this weekend, he will become back-up to the original back-up, a sort of Chinese puzzle of fading ex-international centre-halves, who City must rely on until the main men are fit again,” Curtis states.
“This comes at an unfortunate time in that City face five games in close quarter as soon as the current international break is over, among them a tricky away game against Mark Hughes's fast-rising Stoke City, the first Manchester derby of the season and their crucial opening Champions League tie in Plzen.
“Gallas, who played for Chelsea (159 games), Arsenal (101) and Tottenham (61), managed 17 appearances for Spurs last season.
“While perhaps reaching the end of his period of usefulness right at the top of the professional game, Gallas offers City another pair of experienced feet in the seemingly cursed back-line until all members of staff are fully fit again.”
Of course if City do bring someone in, in the immediate future or in January, you’ll hear about it first here on mcfc.co.uk.
Finally, England manager Roy Hodgson has hinted that James Milner will be a key man for his team if they are going to get anything from Tuesday’s crucial World Cup qualifier in Kiev against Ukraine.
Milner only came on as a substitute with 20 minutes to go on Friday against Moldova but it’s thought that the suspension of Danny Welbeck could give the City man a chance to shine from the start.
“He isn’t, and doesn’t pretend to be, as exciting as some of the wingers we sometimes use these days,” Hodgson said.
“But we are going to need experience in Kiev. Milner is not a winger, but the qualities he brings could be very useful.”