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Manchester City Transfer News and Rumours Tracker: Week of July 21

Phil KeidelContributor IIJuly 21, 2014

Manchester City Transfer News and Rumours Tracker: Week of July 21

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    City supporters hope the Sky Blues do not come up short on their Mangala chase.
    City supporters hope the Sky Blues do not come up short on their Mangala chase.Paulo Duarte/Associated Press

    Manchester City's summer transfer period is suddenly coming down to their pursuit of one player.

    If City acquire Porto defender Eliaquim Mangala, the Sky Blues' summer dealings will be viewed as sensible and surgical.

    If City miss on Mangala, though, there are sure to be questions about whether City's Financial Fair Play sanctions bit them even more quickly than anyone thought possible.

    Finishing the summer with Bacary Sagna, Fernando and Bruno Zuculini as their only acquisitions would feel suspiciously like the ill-fated summer of 2012 to City supporters.

    Another symptom of all this is the way so many of the following slides focus on players possibly leaving City rather than potentially coming in.

Eliaquim Mangala

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    Mangala is the player City most need this summer.
    Mangala is the player City most need this summer.Paulo Duarte/Associated Press

    Manchester City's efforts to sign Eliaquim Mangala seem to have been going on since the end of the 2013-14 Premier League season.

    This past week, it certainly appeared that City would announce that Mangala had signed with the Sky Blues.

    "Manchester City are set to complete their summer spending with a £32 million deal for Porto and France centre-back Eliaquim Mangala in the next few days," wrote Richard Tanner of the Express last Monday.

    A week later, we are still waiting for confirmation. That is not a good feeling for City supporters.

Matija Nastasic

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    If this is the end for Nastasic at City, it's sort of a shame.
    If this is the end for Nastasic at City, it's sort of a shame.Warren Little/Getty Images

    Matija Nastasic's possible end at Manchester City illustrates how ephemeral a professional athlete's security and status always are.

    Nastasic was a presumptive starter at centre-back alongside Vincent Kompany entering the 2013-14 Premier League season. At 21, Nastasic looked to be a building block for the future that appreciated significantly from the £12 million he cost to acquire two summers ago.

    Then Nastasic fell victim to a bad ankle injury on a water-logged pitch in a City friendly in Hong Kong last summer. From there, Nastasic's season became a series of visits to the trainer's room.

    Now Nastasic might be used as a makeweight for City's proposed acquisition of Mangala.

    Nastasic "had an injury-hit second season at City and the 21-year-old could find himself as the club’s fourth-choice centre-back," wrote Chris Wheeler for the Daily Mail. "City accept that Nastasic could be surplus to requirements."

Yaya Toure

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    As long as Toure never goes away, City supporters can never miss him.
    As long as Toure never goes away, City supporters can never miss him.Jon Super/Associated Press

    This probably will not be the last you hear of this, but Yaya Toure says that he is staying at Manchester City—at least for now.

    "I want to stay," said Toure, according to the Daily Mail's Adam Crafton. "I will always honour my contract. I don’t think about all this speculation. It’s a big pleasure to stay and enjoy the next season. The fans have always been good to me."

    Crafton fairly and accurately depicted that the primary source of all the conjecture around Toure's unrest at City was Toure himself.

    "Any speculation, of course, was entirely of the player’s making after he and his agent cultivated an image of a man unloved by his club and open to a move," Crafton added.

    So this story may not be dead, but rather just resting awhile.

Alvaro Negredo

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    It has been some time since City fans saw the light in Negredo's eyes.
    It has been some time since City fans saw the light in Negredo's eyes.Scott Heppell/Associated Press

    Speaking of "will he or won't he" City departures, here is an item on goalless-since-January striker Alvaro Negredo.

    "Real Madrid are reportedly eyeing up a move for Manchester City striker Alvaro Negredo as a potential replacement for Juventus-bound Alvaro Morata," wrote Vaishali Bhardwaj of Metro.

    Negredo has two strikessee what I did there?against him with reference to his status at City.

    First is that whole thing where he has not scored for City in about six months now. Second, City have that pesky Financial Fair Play issue coupled with their need to comply with homegrown player rules. Negredo is expensive and certainly not homegrown.

    City would probably prefer to keep Negredo, but it remains to be seen whether they can actually afford to.

Ross Barkley

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    Anyone remember the last time City overpaid for a young English Everton midfielder? How'd that turn out?
    Anyone remember the last time City overpaid for a young English Everton midfielder? How'd that turn out?Scott Heppell/Associated Press

    Manchester City's primary problem these days is that, given their Financial Fair Play woes, potential dealing partners are holding City up for every last pound they can pay.

    The rationale seems to be that, since City cannot buy a handful of players at a clip anymore, the price for the one or two they really wantMangala is an examplewill be even dearer to them.

    Everton might sell Ross Barkley to City, but the price for such a transfer will be prohibitive.

    "It would take £50 million to prise away Barkley from Everton but if the old Manchester City are really back, that price tag will hold no fears," wrote Rob Bleaney in The Guardian.

    No one asked, but my opinion is that, at that price, Barkley can stay on Merseyside and finish fifth again.

Micah Richards

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    It has been awhile since City fans saw Richards rampage.
    It has been awhile since City fans saw Richards rampage.Warren Little/Getty Images

    Manchester City can also play pricing games, it appears. Micah Richards would really like to play first-team football in the Premier League this season, and if he is not going to do it for City, then Liverpool or Tottenham Hotspur would do.

    According to Simon Mullock of the Mirror, though, City are going to make a loan deal to either of those league rivals very costly.

    "Liverpool, Tottenham and Newcastle have all failed to follow up their interest in the former England defender, being put off by champions City's £7 million asking price," he wrote.

    City are wise to hang a number like that on Richards. The right-back would be a competent substitute for City's Champions League squad and help the Sky Blues with their homegrown-player problem.

    Richards has understandably chafed at languishing behind Pablo Zabaleta and now Bacary Sagna. However, it certainly appears that he will have to wait one more year to seek his fortunes elsewhere.

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