He’s gone. It has been a tumultuous ordeal putting up with the various sides of Mario ‘Why Always Me?’ Balotelli but it has been confirmed that he has agreed a four-and-a-half-year deal with Italian giants AC Milan. Originally a deal seemed to be dead in the water as the Rossoneri toiled to earn the cash for such a deal and when their controversial chairman Silvio Berlusconi called the 22-year-old a ‘rotten apple’ (pot…kettle?) it seemed this deal would never happen.
Now he has departed, for better or worse Manchester City do need to replace him. At the moment they have the three options in Edin Dzeko, Carlos Tevez and Sergio Aguero. They also have the talented Swede John Guidetti at their disposal but his current fitness issues give him an aura of unreliability. In order to compete for the rest of the season on all fronts reinforcements will certainly be needed.
With a vast array of talent on offer and some pretty deep pockets Manchester City could bring almost anyone to the club so narrowing down their targets is a tough one but we have given it a go.
Here are five it could be…
The Uruguayan is one of Europe’s most potent frontmen and whilst his buy-out clause of €63 million would make most clubs shriek in horror it is not out the price range for Sheikh Mansour and co. Mancini will know Cavani well from his time in Serie A and would be remiss not to consider him a potential Premier League golden boot winner in the making. However Cavani wants to stay at Napoli until the end of the season as they chase the Scudetto so it may not be on the horizon.
Of course everyone’s favourite transfer rumour Colombian was going to be mentioned. Let’s do a checklist.
Can City afford him? Yes.
Would Atletico sell? Probably.
Is he good enough? Definitely.
Would he join City? Maybe.
That is about the long and short of that one really.
Now for all the fanciful ideas of Falcao and Cavani a more down-to-earth acquisition at this stage of a season would be for the Spaniard David Villa. Reportedly unhappy at his squad role in Barcelona he has been the subject of interest from Arsenal in recent weeks. Barca are not keen to sell but we are sure that Txiki could have a word with his old friends to soften any approach.
Mancini is said to be a long-time fan of the Montenegrin and why not considering the talent ‘Brian May’ possesses. A close friend of current City player Matija Nastasic and Fiorentina have just signed Giuseppe Rossi as his eventual replacement. The pieces are certainly in place.
I ignored Robert Lewandowski and Neymar to go with the Liverpool striker instead. After toiling up front in an inept FA Cup exit on Sunday a loss at Arsenal on Wednesday could lay seeds of doubt in the mind of Suarez. While he signed a new contract in August we know that enough money can break footballer’s contractual obligations with ease. If I was a betting man this would be where my money went. Replace the most controversial Premier League player with second most controversial Premier League player? It would be a sensation to say the least.
Who do you think City will bring in to replace Balotelli?