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Man City plan three signings

Premier League champions Manchester City are likely to make only three new signings this summer, reports James Cooper.

Last Updated: 22/05/14 at 10:30 Post Comment

James Cooper reports from Manchester City on the club's transfer targets

James Cooper reports from Manchester City on the club's transfer targets

The club's key priority is strengthening their defensive options with winter target, Porto's Elaquim Mangala, at the top of their shopping list.

But with City aiming to do their business quickly, as they did last summer, and Mangala keen to keep his options open until after the World Cup, Manuel Pellegrini may swoop for Roma centre-back Mehdi Benatia instead.

Benatia sparkled in Serie A last season and although he still has four years remaining on his deal, a fee of around £30m may be enough to tempt Roma to part with one of their prized assets.

City are also close to sealing a deal for one of his Porto team-mates, defensive midfielder Fernando. The Brazilian, who was another of Pellegrini's winter targets, would cost an initial fee of around £16m.

While his arrival would add to the number of players who can play as defensive midfielders, the club remain keen to retain the services of Javi Garcia who enjoyed a strong end to his second season in English football.

City's remaining transfer dilemma is finding a suitable right-back to provide cover for Pablo Zabaleta. Bacary Sagna's age and experience have seen him earmarked as the perfect candidate and the fact he is available as a free transfer makes him doubly attractive with UEFA imposing a restricted £49m transfer kitty following FFP breaches.

Sagna, who has spent the last seven years with Arsenal, is keen to sort out his future before the World Cup. That fits in with City's transfer strategy and a deal could be agreed by the end of this month.

Meanwhile, Manchester City's director of football Txiki Begiristain is planning to fly out to the World Cup to offer support to all the club's players who're involved in the latter stages of the tournament.

But the Begiristain's most crucial role could be to convince Yaya Toure that his future remains at the Etihad Stadium.

Toure's agent has told Sky Sports News that the midfielder will stay at City if he is offered a role within the club when he finishes playing.

The Ivory Coast international's future at the Etihad Stadium has been thrown into doubt after Dimitry Seluk claimed his client felt underappreciated and disrespected at City.

Seluk suggested that one of main reasons for Toure's unhappiness was the club's failure to mark his 31st birthday last week.

But in an interview with Sky Sports News, the Ukrainian claimed Toure would be more than happy to stay should he be promised a coaching position or sporting director's role when he hangs up his boots.

Seluk said: "Of course. Like Real Madrid did with (Zinedine) Zidane for example. Zidane played then after that he started working for the club.

"Yaya needs the club in the future.

"We don't want any more pounds, not a longer contract, nothing like this, only really attention.

"More attention (paid) to Yaya and Yaya must feel happy at the club - that's the main thing.

"I'll tell you one more time, we don't need one more pound in the contract."

Our wage bill last season included Tevez & Balotelli. Add to that Mancini's payout. Our wages will be considerably less this year.
- zabbaman

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h Daniel. I could spend hours on this subject putting the world to rights. You can even take a step back and ask why football fans (and society in general) have this need to know that something will happen before it actually does. There are times this important, when it comes to things like war, food production and natural disasters. A man you've never met changing his job? Not so much.

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reat article. Hits the nail on the head. Encapsulates why I don't read tabloid newspapers anymore. The only thing worse is the 'told you so first' headline when they get lucky.

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