Mario Gomez has had a rough season at Bayern Munich.
Coming into the 2012-13 campaign off the back of 39- and 41-goal hauls for the club, in addition to giving Miroslav Klose a run for his money at Euro 2012, the German will likely have been eager to get cracking once more.
But an injury in preseason ruled him out of the club's opening games, and Mario Mandzukic—a fresh recruit from Wolfsburg—took advantage.
The Croatian remained consistent, and Jupp Heynckes continued to play the new man and leave Gomez benched.
In football, there's always a chance that falls your way to regain your position in a side, but two critical events have seemingly shaped the former Stuttgart man's future.
Firstly, following the German winter break, Heynckes resumed Bayern's Bundesliga campaign against Greuther Furth on January 19. With both Mandzukic and Gomez fit and raring to go, the former was chosen and scored a brace.
A clear signal was sent to Gomez: even when you're fit, you're no longer first choice.
Shortly after, it was announced that Pep Guardiola was to take the managerial reins at Bayern Munich following the culmination of the 2012-13 season.
Many of the qualities Mandzukic has shown to keep his place—for example, the work rate in closing down Andrea Pirlo during Bayern's victory over Juventus in the UEFA Champions League—are distinctly absent from Gomez's game.
As Helenio Herrera famously stated, "If you play for yourself you play for the opposition. If you play for the team you play for yourself." An incoming Guardiola will adore the team ethic his Croatian displays, but it's unlikely he'll feel similarly toward Gomez's tendencies.
With the German now quite possibly on the market, who should look to swoop? None other than Manchester City and Roberto Mancini.
Bayern will chase Robert Lewandowski this summer and attempt to lure the striker to the Allianz Arena. In return, Borussia Dortmund will find a new go-to guy, and B/R's Bundesliga expert Clark Whitney is convinced die Borussen will make a serious play for the unhappy Edin Dzeko.
Dzeko leaving would present City two problems: First, they'd be down to the bare bones in just Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tevez, and second, they'd lose the aerial presence that has so often turned games for them.
Gomez's game—strength in the air, a poacher's instinct in the box and a genuine eye for goal—would suit City down to the ground.
The creative presence in the Citizens' midfield is such that Mancini is not reliant on a striker dropping deep to help, and Gomez would be free to do what he does best: Position himself cleverly in the penalty area and await the flood of chances.
Should City add some appropriate, genuine width to their game in the summer too, Gomez would rule the air and the ground with ease.
Competition for the German's signature will be limited—his wages, which are in the region of £150,000 per week—are difficult to match and he'll command a big transfer fee too.
That takes all but eight or so clubs in world football out of the equation in terms of affordability, and City could get a world-class striker without bidding wars, hassle and agent shenanigans.
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