City Eye Spaniard as Balotelli Replacement - Report
By IBTimes Staff Reporter | January 30, 2013 10:11 PM EST
Premier League champions Manchester City are considering Barcelona striker David Villa, according to the Mirror. The World Cup-winning forward is to be a replacement for Italy striker Mario Balotelli, who has moved to Serie A club AC Milan; the 22-year-old former Inter Milan forward will have a medical on Wednesday and complete a £17m (initial fee) transfer to the San Siro.
Ex-Valencia striker David Villa is a reported target for both Roberto Mancini and Arsene Wenger, as they look to replace Balotelli and Robin van Persie, respectively. The Gunners were strongly linked with the 31-year-old forward in the build-up to the January transfer window but following comments from the Nou Camp, speculation eased.
However, following transfer demands from Villa himself (and the fact the striker has only 18 months left on his contract) could see the Spaniard engineer a mid-season move, with Arsenal again interested. He will have to move fast though, the transfer window closes at midnight on Thursday, 31 January.
City's interest in the Sporting Gijon youngster reportedly comes from Mancini's desire to maintain his striker count of four. The Etihad club, with Balotelli's departure, have the Argentine pair of Carlos Tevez and Sergio Agüero and Bosnian Edin Dzeko. And with uncertainty over both Tevez and Agüero's future at the club, Villa's experience and quality could be exactly what Mancini needs to counter the threat of van Persie at Old Trafford.
The champions will hope the presence of former Barcelona officials - Ferran Soriano and Txiki Begiristain - will help ease negotiations for Villa, for whom they are willing to pay £15m.
The striker, meanwhile, has had a poor season in Spain, since recovering from a broken leg in December, 2011. He has been unable to dislodge either one of compatriots Pedro and Cesc Fabregas or Chilean international Alexis Sanchez from the starting line-up. The central striking role, of course, is reserved for Argentine Lionel Messi.
Nevertheless, his record of 12 goals and two assists from 27 appearances suggests there are still plenty of goals left in the veteran, something both Arsenal and City will welcome.
Mancini on Striker Signing
However, there appears to be some confusion over the arrival of a replacement for Balotelli, with Mancini unsure of signing a player in the time available.
"We only have two days and it is difficult to buy a good player in this moment," he said, adding the loss of Balotelli could be important over the next few months.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Prince Harry & Camilla Thurlow Getting Serious, St. Tropez Holiday Before The Prince’s 30th Birthday [PHOTOS]
- 2014 US Open: Hottest Male Tennis Players To Watch [PHOTOS]
- What Happens When You Give Up Sex For 12 Months? – Dialogue With Peter Lynagh – Exclusive
- 2014 US Open: Hottest Female Tennis Athletes [PHOTOS]
Join the Conversation
- UFC News: Ronda Rousey To Avenge Teammates, Demands Bethe Correia
- FIBA Basketball World Cup Live Streaming Info: Argentina vs. Philippines Preview, Starting Lineups
- Kate Upton And BF Justin Verlander Nude Photo Leaked; Verlander Instantly Became An Internet Meme Sensation
- Grigor Dimitrov Shares Fashion Tips With Maria Sharapova
- FIBA World Cup 2014: Puerto Rico vs. Greece Live Streaming, Betting Odds and Preview
- 5.5-Inch iPhone 6 is iPhone Air on Sept 19 Release Date: 5 Things to Consider Before Buying
- Pricey iPhone 6 on Release Date Likely but with 3X Retina Resolution & Mobile Payment Service – Reports
- Nexus 6 Release Date Update: Moto X+1 Look Leaked, Nexus X or Shamu Moved to Demo Phase
- Google Nexus 8 Confirmed as HTC T1 aka Volantis/Flounder with Freshly-Leaked Specs & Features – Reports
- HTC One M8 for Windows Vs. Nokia Lumia Icon, The Battle Of Windows Phones
- Europe, US Next on ISIS’ Hit List, Says Saudi King; Seized ISIS Laptop Reveals Terrifying Bio-Warfare Plans
- iPhone 6 On Release Date To Feature Qualcomm MDM9625M LTE, 1GB RAM, Mobile Payment Deal With AMEX, 1334x750 Display