Manchester City coach Roberto Mancini has identified a host of Serie A targets that he will be interested in buying this summer. The Italian is concocting a transfer wishlist to City owner Sheikh Mansour, which contains players from the length and breadth of Italy’s top flight. City finished third in the Premier League last season and have been surprisingly quiet in this summer’s transfer window, despite their sizeable financial muscles.
Mancini’s knowledge of Serie A, having spent 19 years as a player and eight years as a coach, is expansive and he is looking to his former league to make City a formidable side in both England and Europe. City’s Champions League positioning this season could be a prime factor in bringing talent to Eastlands, as well as the comfortable financial position the Citizens find themselves in since the 2008 takeover of Sheikh Mansour’s Abu Dhabi Group.
Napoli could be the main focus of Mancini’s transfer radar, as the Partenopei hold three stars that the former Sampdoria star is intrigued in. Strikers Ezequiel Lavezzi and Edinson Cavani scored a combined 32 goals between them, Cavani scoring 26, and they are joined on City’s wishlist by playmaker Marek Hamsik. Partenopei president Aurelio De Laurentiis has moved swiftly to try and dismiss any sort of moves for the three players, but City’s ambitions and finances dwarf Napoli’s dramatically and the best Napoli can offer is the Europa League this season.
Cavani was the standout player for Napoli last season and with the speculation surrounding Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez and a move to Italy, the 24 year old Uruguayan could exit the Stadio San Paolo this summer and replace his fellow South American in Manchester. President De Laurentiis has valued Hamsik at around £90m, which is a little bit excessive, but with the riches Manchester City hold, a price of that magnitude would not deter Mancini’s advances. Lavezzi could be the cheapest option of the three, but his goalscoring tally is not one of a definitive striker and is seen as more of a second striker, creating for a main finisher.
Mancini has revealed that he holds less interest in Palermo’s Javier Pastore, which could possibly fall down to the price tag and the eccentricities of Palermo president Mauro Zamaparini. The former Inter boss has shown interest in defender Pablo Armero and versatile defender/midfielder Mauricio Isla from Udinese. A deal for the Colomnbian defender Armero could be stalled by the suggested £7m, four year transfer of Arsenal left back Gael Clichy, but a move for Isla would strengthen the City squad and provide significant battle qualities along with Nigel De Jong in the Citizens midfield.
Whatever happens, Mancini needs to dip into Mansour’s pockets and produce some more talent for his side. There will be definite exits away from Eastlands this summer, with moves for Wayne Bridge and Shaun Wright-Phillips seemingly completed, but Mancini will have to add players with experience of playing at the top level to his squad. His attempts to land Udinese playmaker Alexis Sanchez were dismissed, after the shown interest of Barcelona, and it is a wonder whether the current crop of City stars could become disgruntled with the potential transfers in and out of Eastlands.