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Why the signing of Nicolas Otamendi makes Manchester City firm favourites for the title

August 19, 2015

Manchester City are one of the greatest teams on the planet and Manuel Pellegrini’s side boasts talented footballers all over the field. Earlier this summer, England international Raheem Sterling joined the club from Liverpool for an estimated fee of £49 million while many are suggesting that Wolfsburg’s Kevin de Bruyne could also move to the Etihad Stadium before the transfer window closes. The Belgian was voted Bundesliga Player of the Year last season and is widely regarded as one of Europe’s elite attacking talents.

However, City’s biggest move – and one that could secure them the Premier League title this season – is Nicolas Otamendi. According to reports, the Valencia central defender is set to join Pellegrini’s side for around £40 million despite interest from rivals Manchester United throughout the summer. Otamendi is arguably the best centre-back in the world and, on current form, would form a destructive partnership with Vincent Kompany at the heart of the defence. City’s defenders were heavily criticised last season and the addition of Otamendi would only increase competition for places at the Etihad this campaign. You can keep up-to-date with all the latest transfer news and gossip via bluesq, as well as checking out the latest tips and offers on football and other sports.

Otamendi is strong, aggressive and most importantly, consistent. The Argentina international played a pivotal role in Valencia’s success last season, making 74 tackles, 111 interceptions, 267 clearances and 28 blocks over the course of the campaign. As impressive as these figures are, they are even more so when you directly compare his performance against the rest of La Liga. Otamendi made the fourth most interceptions, whilst he blocked the most shots and made the most clearances in Spain’s top flight last term.

In theory, he will provide stability and reliability to a shaky defensive unit. Although Eliaquim Mangala has produced two impressive performances at the beginning of the new season, Otamendi is a class above. Mangala is just 24-years-old, while Otamendi and Kompany are 27 and 29 respectively – his time will come. Statistically, the Argentinian ranks above the Frenchman in almost every department and Otamendi’s ability to adapt to new cultures and surroundings will help him to settle quickly into English football.

Manchester United may rue their missed opportunity to sign Otamendi earlier this summer. Reports suggested that the 13-time Premier League champions were set to meet Valencia’s valuation for the centre-back but talk went quiet after Otamendi struggled in the Copa America. Now that he is set to sign for archrivals City, however, their supporters are beginning to question Louis van Gaal’s decision to pass on Otamendi.

If Vincent Kompany can regain his form and fitness, then City will stand a real chance of competing in the Champions League this season – that’s how good the signing of Otamendi is. In previous years, City have struggled to progress in European football – largely due to the lack of a serious presence alongside Kompany in the centre of defence – but that could all change now. Otamendi’s reliability will appeal to Manuel Pellegrini and City’s supporters may start to feel confident of their ability to keep clean sheets away from home against the continent’s elite clubs. However, reclaiming the Premier League title will remain – for the time being at least – City’s number one priority and Otamendi will be relishing the challenge of English football.

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Man City agree £28m deal for Bony

January 13, 2015

Man City have agreed a £28m fee to buy striker Wilfried Bony from Swansea City. Bony, 26, joined Swansea back in 2013 for £12m from Vitesse Arnhem and has scored 25 goals in 54 appearances for the Swans.

The deal should be done within the next 24hrs and City will pay £25m cash upfront then a further £3m in performance-related bonuses.

Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham were all reported to be interested in Bony, but it looks like the Premier League champions have won the race for the Ivory Coast international star.

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Lampard set to agree stay at Manchester City

December 26, 2014

Frank Lampard is set to extend his loan spell at Manchester City. Although City have yet to make a formal announcement it is understood that the former Chelsea player has agreed to stay on with the champions.

This will be great news for the City fans with Yaya Toure going away on African Nations Cup duty for up to five weeks at the start of January. Lampard will provide much needed cover for the City in midfield.

Lampard, 36, has been fantastic for the blues since joining for them on loan from MLS New York City FC back in August.

The loan deal is due to run out on New Year’s Eve, and it is believed an agreement is in place for him to stay with City until mid-Feb, with the new MLS season not starting until March.

City boss Pellegrini said: “I repeat that Frank is very important for our team so I hope he will stay here. The reason [for the delay in a final decision on his future] is not important – the important thing is that he stays here.

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Manchester City Look to Extend Lampard Deal

September 26, 2014

Frank Lampard has refused to rule out extending his loan deal past January, after scoring twice in the midweek 7-0 Capital One Cup win over Sheffield Wednesday.

The 36-year old has been in typical goalscoring form for Manchester City, after joining on loan from newly formed Major League Soccer side New York City.

The American franchise was purchased jointly by Manchester City and baseball team the New York Yankees.
Arsene Wenger has again questioned Frank Lampard’s loan spell at Manchester City, as a way for the defending champions to bypass Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules.

With the 2015 MLS season not commencing until March, Lampard could find his stay at Eastlands extended for a little while longer, especially if Manchester City have growing commitments coming into the business end of the season.

Manchester City were restricted to a net spend of £65million this summer, whilst their Premier League rivals were relentless in spending hundreds of millions of pounds worth of transfers as shown in this infographic about transfers on the Premier League.

The former England international continues to illustrate his pedigree and Lampard’s goals contribution from midfield may prove crucial, given the slow starting contributions from Yaya Toure and David Silva.
Lampard’s switch to Manchester City may have caught many people off-guard, but the midfielder’s professionalism and work ethic remains in-tact after a long and industrious career at title rivals Chelsea.

Lampard said it “will obviously be a club decision first and foremost. I wouldn’t want to get too ahead of myself. It’s not my place to do that…. (but) I’ll just train as hard as I can and play as well as I can – that’s the important thing – then we’ll see what happens. I’m signed here until January so that’s all I can say at the minute.”

Manchester City take on Hull City at the KC Stadium on Saturday.

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Manchester City target Everton’s Ross Barkley

September 23, 2014

It is believed that Ross Barkley is a target for Manchester City next summer. City believe that the midfielder is valued around £30m and view him as one of the only young English homegrown players who could fit into their team.

There was talk of City being interested in Barkley in the close season but City where not prepared to pay Everton’s asking price of £50m.

The Premier League and Uefa are now demanding that Premier League clubs should have at least eight homegrown players in their squads, but City have found it difficult to find English players of the right ability.

In recent years homegrown players such as Jack Rodwell, Adam Johnson and Scott Sinclair were all bought to fill the void of lack of English players within the City squad. All have failed to impress and left City apart from Sinclair who remains on the fringes of the first team.

The club are also hopeful that their current English players Joe Hart and James Milner will sign the new contracts at the club.

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Premier League trio in battle for City winger

July 27, 2013

According to various sources, Manchester City winger Scott Sinclair could be the subject of a tug-of-war between Everton, Southampton, and West Brom. The winger has found playing hard to come by at Eastlands since his £6.2million switch from Swansea last summer.

Now Sinclair looks set to leave City, with a permanent switch for a fee of £5.5million mooted, as well as a loan deal with the possibility of a permanent deal next summer. Everton are believed to favour a loan deal, while Southampton look prepared to pay the £5.5million to sign the former-Swansea star.

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Manchester City full-back linked with Juventus

July 22, 2013

According to the Guardian, Italian champions Juventus could be set to make a move for Manchester City full-back Aleksandar Kolarov. The full-back was in and out of the City team last season as then City boss Roberto Mancini rotated his squad.

The Serbian international is believed to be unhappy at not playing regular first team football and may consider a summer move. It is unknown whether the Serbian international is in new City boss Manuel Pellegrini’s plans, but a move to Juventus could be difficult to turn down if he is not guaranteed first team football at Eastlands.

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City looking at Real defender

July 21, 2013

According to the Daily Star, Manchester City are looking at signing Real Madrid centre-back Pepe, in a deal worth £22million. City boss Manuel Pellegrini knows the Portuguese international from his time managing in Spain and could be set to make a swoop for the 30-year-old.

Pellegrini has already been busy in the transfer market bringing forwards Alvaro Negredo and Stevan Jovetic. It now looks like the Chilean is looking to strengthen his defence, despite City having one of the strongest defences in the Premier League last season.

Pepe is famous for his abrasive style and tough tackling. Pellegrini may see these attributes as ideal for a Premier League defender.

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City complete deal for Jovetic

July 20, 2013

Manchester City have completed the £22million transfer of Montenegro forward Stevan Jovetic from Fiorentina. Jovetic follows Alvaro Negredo into City, who completed a £20million move from Sevilla on Friday.

Jovetic has spent the last five seasons at Fiorentina and has previously attracted the interest of Arsenal and Chelsea. The 23-year-old can play in a number of positions, including striker, in the hole behind the striker or on the wing.

His signing gives boss Manuel Pellegrini another attacking option, with Negredo, Edin Dzeko, and Sergio Aguero all available to the Chilean boss. Jovetic is more likely to be used as an attacking midfielder next season.

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Negredo set for City medical, as Maicon moves to Roma

July 18, 2013

According to Sky Sports, Sevilla striker Alvaro Negredo is set to have a medical at Manchester City ahead of a £20million move. The Spaniard has been linked with a move to the Premier League runners-up for a while, but it now seems the 27-year-old will finally clinch the move in the next 48 hours.

A player that has left Manchester City is Brazilian full-back Maicon, who has joined Italian club Roma for a reported fee of £3million. The full-back spent just one season at Eastlands, after moving from Inter last summer.

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