All the news, views and transfer rumours from the Etihad this weekend…
Despite calling him his “footballing father” it seems Malaga midfielder Isco will not be joining Manuel Pellegrini after all.
It was widely believed that the 21-year-old would be the Chilean’s first signing. But it appears he will not get his wish, after City’s chief executive Ferran Soriano and sporting director Txiki Begiristain decided he was an unnecessary indulgence given the players they currently have available in similar positions.
We covered the piece in more detail this morning, following reports from Spanish newspaper Marca that the City hierarchy had made their decision, leaving Real Madrid as Isco’s most likely destination.
Two players City hope to tie down with the offer of new contracts are defenders Micah Richards and Pablo Zabaleta.
Chairman Khaldoon al-Mubarak has spoken of the need for stability and longevity in the squad.
“As much as we need to continue to invest in this team,” he said, “we also need to invest in the core foundation of this team, which is these players.”
One player City have long been linked with is Napoli striker Edinson Cavani. And reports today suggest the striker is waiting to see if Real Madrid make an offer before deciding on his future.
The report suggests it is a straight choice between Cavani and Luis Suarez as to who will be wearing the white of Madrid next season. City will be hoping it is the latter.
Although it seems as though he has been City’s manager for weeks, Manuel Pellegrini is finally set to begin talks with the club following the conclusion of the Spanish season.
“I have an agreement to start conversations with Manchester City,” he said, following his side’s 4-1 defeat to Barcelona.
“Now the league is over we will start from Monday to look forward and to see where my future lies.
“Some rumours will be right, others won’t, but I have kept my focus on Malaga until now.”
It will be a quite a twist if the rumours that prove to be wrong are the ones linking him with the Etihad. But in truth his future is crystal clear, no matter how much he has nobly tried to distance himself from it while he completed the season with his current club.
City will have quite a manager in Pellegrini. It will be interesting to see what he does when he is finally in post.