City need to restructure after another defeat in the Champions League
Manchester City have once again failed at the first significant hurdle in the Champions League, but even if at the hands of one of the best teams in the competition, it is worrying that they never looked like an unbeatable team. City will have to start offloading some of their big salary players such as Yaya Touré in a clearout that will put many of the champions’ biggest names in danger. Of the starting eleven at the Camp Nou only Sergio Agüero, Joe Hart, Vincent Kompany, Fernandinho and David Silva have long-term futures at City, the rest of that team are potentially vulnerable. This means Touré, Bacary Sagna, Martín Demichelis, Aleksandar Kolarov, Samir Nasri and James Milner (whose contract expires in the close season) face uncertainty. A top betting pick would suggest that of those players who did not start in Catalonia, Gaël Clichy, Pablo Zabaleta, Jesús Navas, Fernando, Stevan Jovetic and Edin Dzeko may also be expendable whereas Frank Lampard is finally going to join New York City FC.
Touré is wanted by his former City manager Roberto Mancini, at Inter and so City will consider this option, the problem seems more like whether the Italian club have the finance to buy Touré and match his considerable salary. Although Yaya Touré turns 32 in May he still has two years remaining on his contract so City would want a fee in the region of £20m and considering the midfielder is the club’s best-paid player, receiving at least £220,000 a week, Inter would really have to break their bank in order to accommodate him.
Touré’s relationship with the club is uneven, with last summer’s disagreement over how his birthday was celebrated marked one of a number of difficult moments between player and club. If Internazionale were able to source the funds then the executive may decide to sell Touré, but the only potential way of financing the deal could be via sponsors.
Last week Mancini said: “Yaya has played in every top league, apart from Germany and Italy. If, as it seems, he wants to have an experience in Italy, then there is this possibility he could come here. It won’t be easy but he’s a player with incredible technique and character.” A top football tipster would question though whether Inter would be his first choice though!
City are keen on De Bruyne, a former Chelsea midfielder who was sold to Wolfsburg for £18m and has scored nine goals in 25 Bundesliga appearances. At 23 and as an established Belgium international De Bruyne fits the profile wanted by City in their drive to lower the age of the squad. Alongside him they are also looking at Ayoze Pérez, the 21-year-old Newcastle United striker. At the weekend John Carver, the Newcastle manager, claimed he had “a good chat with Brian Kidd at Man City about him”. With Dzeko having disappointed since signing a new deal last year and Jovetic unhappy at being left out of the Champions League squad for the knockout phase, a sports betting expert would suggest that if either were to leave Pérez would be acquired as his potential could complement Agüero and Wilfried Bony. Big questions still remain though about whether manager Pellegrini is the right man for this job with his odds falling as the days go by!