City target Mangala in £38m swoop
Manchester City will seek to avoid an expensive summer transfer battle with a £38m move for Porto defender Eliaquim Mangala before the window closes tonight.
City view the prospects of signing the 22-year-old as slim, with so many clubs seeking to secure his services and Manchester United joining Paris Saint-Germain among those who are interested.
But both the City manager Manuel Pellegrini and director of football Txiki Begiristain admire Mangala and see him as the partner they need for Vincent Kompany in central defence. A move for Porto's Brazilian midfielder Fernando is also a possibility, with City quoted a fee of €15m (£12.4m) for a player who has been the subject of offers from Monaco and CSKA Moscow.
Porto's willingness to sell may be a problem as the club are contenders for their domestic title, but a deal could be possible if City are prepared to allow Javi Garcia to move to Porto as part of any agreement for Fernando. It helps City's cause that the midfielder will be out of contract this summer.
Meanwhile, the prospect of Manchester United securing German midfielder Toni Kroos from Bayern Munich is not dead, though it does seem unlikely, with David Moyes not confident he will be able to reinforce further in this window.
Crystal Palace were close to bringing in Blackpool winger Tom Ince on loan until the end of the season. The south London club have held talks with the 22-year-old and expect to finalise the deal today. Ince has been linked with a number of clubs, but his long-anticipated switch to top-flight football now looks to be imminent with Palace.
Bradley Johnson had his appeal on his red card against Newcastle upheld and can face Cardiff tomorrow.
Dani Osvaldo's Southampton exit appears to be edging closer, although manager Mauricio Pochettino admits "anything is possible" before the transfer deadline.