Manchester City could usually be expected to be one of the big players in any transfer window, but uncertainty around their manager and the quality they already have in the squad could mean they are one of the quieter sides this January.
Where the team needs to strengthen
There are no real weaknesses in Manchester City’s expensively assembled squad, so if they were looking to sign players it would likely be either a world class superstar who would improve the team, or a talented youngster who would become that superstar whilst at the Etihad.
Despite City themselves insisting they will not be making waves in the transfer market this winter there has been no shortage of reports linking them with players. £40+ million bids for Neymar and Radamel Falcao have been mooted, but the Brazilian player in particular looks unlikely to leave. His Santos’ teammate goalkeeper Rafael Cabral has also been linked with a move to the Eithad to act as an understudy to Joe Hart. Malaga’s playmaker Isco will likely be one of the big moves of next summer, but there have been suggestions City might look to jump the gun in January with a £17.5 million bid that meets his release clause. Given there record of raiding Arsenal for players, it’s no surprise that City are amongst the clubs linked with contract rebel Theo Walcott, but his odds of playing as a striker at the Etihad are slim. Fabio Coentrao might be available if City are looking for cover at left back as the Portuguese player has fallen out of favour at Real Madrid. Finally with rumours that Lescott might be allowed to leave, City could try and bring in PSG defender Mamadou Sakho to provide cover at centre back.
Mario Balotelli has been persistently linked with a move away from the Eithad, with his on/off relationship with Mancini seemingly hitting a new low with the recent training ground bust up. AC Milan could try and lure him back to Italy if they do sell off Pato and Robinho. John Guidetti will likely head out on loan to gain some Premiership experience. Joleon Lescott has found his playing time limited, and might head back to his old club Everton as a result. Scott Sinclair, who has struggling to make an impact the Eithad since his summer move, could go out on loan.
City have no real restrictions on the money they have available, but with a quiet window expected they might not spend more than £5-10 million.
The Etihad will be at the centre of plenty of rumours this January, but it’s likely there will be few ins and outs there, with concerns over Mancini’s long term future likely to make their owners hesitate about spending huge amounts on new players.