Man City targets
Manchester City already have arguably the strongest squad in the Premier League but boss Manuel Pellegrini could still use the huge spending power at his disposal in order to strengthen further in January. A centre-back and goalkeeper could be top of his list but who might he look to buy?
By Peter Fraser - Follow me on Twitter @SkySportsPeteF. Last Updated: 24/01/14 8:39am
Club: Bayern Munich
Estimated Value: £15m
Alternative Targets: Pepe (Real Madrid), Fabian Schar (Basel) & Virgil van Dijk (Celtic)
Possible Man City exits:Joleon Lescott
Linked with several clubs, including West Ham, and seemingly not rated by Pellegrini
Experienced an injury nightmare and might need a loan to regain confidence
Another who does not seem to figure in Pellegrini's plans and could move on
It would be very tough to get Bayern Munich to part with Dante but German newspaper Bild reported earlier in January that the champions of Europe could be prepared to listen to a profitable offer given they only signed the centre-back for €4.7million (£3.8m) in 2012. Dante is under contract until 2016 but is still a target for Manuel Pellegrini as he looks for a reliable partner for City captain Vincent Kompany. City will also likely need an additional centre-back given Joleon Lescott is expected to leave the club in January. Age, though, is not in Dante's favour given he is already the wrong side of 30. Recent reports have suggested David Moyes is also a fan and is readying a bid to take him to Old Trafford.
Club: Real Madrid
Estimated Value: £16m
Alternative Targets: Victor Valdes (Barcelona), Geronimo Rulli (Estudiantes de la Plata) & Rui Patricio (Sporting)
Rui Patricio: Also linked with City
City have been linked with Real Madrid and Spain captain Iker Casillas for several years and, more recently, it is no secret Pellegrini has not been entirely convinced by Joe Hart. Signing Casillas could also be easier than it sounds given he is no longer guaranteed first choice at boyhood club Real having fallen behind Diego Lopez in the battle for a starting place. Casillas has said in the past he will at least see out the remainder of his Real contract, which runs until 2017, but that could be a different case if he is not playing. At 32, he would likely only be a short-term solution for City even as a goalkeeper but he would bring a wealth of trophy-winning ability and experience. Pellegrini also knows Casillas from their short time together at Real.
Estimated Value: £50m
Alternative Targets: Alvaro Morata (Real Madrid) & Diego Costa (Atletico Madrid)
Before the knee injury which has wrecked his World Cup hopes, there were all sorts of rumours about Radamel Falcao being unhappy at Monaco having only joined the mega-rich French club last summer and likewise there is widespread speculation about a buyout clause in his contract. If Falcao was available, City would almost certainly have been interested after being strongly linked with the Colombia star before he left Atletico Madrid. Sergio Aguero and Alvaro Negredo are already a fearsome strike pair but Pellegrini will want options, particularly with Edin Dzeko constantly linked with leaving City while Stevan Jovetic has proved to be injury-plagued.
Estimated Value: £25m
Alternative Targets: Abner (Coritiba)
Southampton's 18-year-old, Luke Shaw, is also rumoured to be a target for Chelsea but City could be looking for a long-term left-back. Reports earlier in January suggested City were ready to significantly flex their financial muscle with a staggering £30m bid for the England Under 21 international, which would make him the most expensive left-back in the world. That gives an indication of Shaw's potential even as a teenager. Gael Clichy and Aleksandar Kolarov have never completely made City's left-back position their own and Pellegrini may want a player he has signed to fill the role for the future. Southampton, though, will be desperate to keep hold of Shaw and will be able to demand top price if they do decide they want to sell a player who will be a fiercely competitive target for several clubs.
Estimated Value: £40m
Alternative Targets: Eder Alvarez Balanta (River Plate), Nicolas Otamendi (Porto) & Dede (Cruzeiro)
Porto's Otamendi a City option?
Porto centre-back Eliaquim Mangala is reported to have a £40m buyout clause in his contract and City have been strongly linked with a move for the France international. Porto do not want to sell in January but are said to have accepted one of their star men will be moving on sooner or later. Mangala is a younger option than Dante and would provide City with a long-term partner for Kompany. But City would face competition from the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United, who have also been linked with the fast and powerful defender.