Thursday 14 November 2019

Benfica's Javi Garcia heads Manchester City's deadline day targets

Mark Ogden and Luke Edwards

Manchester City are facing a deadline-day battle to clinch the £22m signing of Benfica defensive midfielder Javi Garcia after edging closer to finalising deals for a further four arrivals at the Etihad Stadium.

City manager Roberto Mancini is expected to add Swansea winger Scott Sinclair, Fiorentina defender Matija Nastasic, Inter Milan full-back Maicon and former England goalkeeper Richard Wright to his squad before tonight's 11.0deadline.

But while senior figures at the Etihad are confident that deals will be thrashed out for that quartet -- with Mancini also selling Dutch midfielder Nigel de Jong to AC Milan -- efforts are set to intensify to complete a deal for Garcia.

City have been involved in discussions with officials at Estadio da Luz since last weekend in an effort to come to an agreement for the versatile Garcia, who has been capped once at full international level by Spain.

Talks are understood to have progressed well.

Having targeted Eden Hazard, Robin van Persie, Daniele de Rossi and Javi Martinez during this window, City's only business of note prior to this week was the £15m purchase of Jack Rodwell from Everton.

Even if the Premier League champions win the race to sign Garcia, this summer will represent their lowest overall spend in the transfer market by some distance since Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al Nahyan's takeover of the club in September 2008.

City have reached an agreement with Swansea, however, over the former Chelsea winger Sinclair.

The Welsh club will now receive an initial £6.25m for him, with further payments based on the player's performance and City's on-field success, potentially taking the fee beyond a total of £8m.

A deal for Serbian defender Nastasic is also close to being completed, with Fiorentina due to take City defender Stefan Savic as part of a transfer worth a total £12m to the Italian club.

City have yet to receive a work permit for the 19-year-old Nastasic, but this seems likely to be a formality.

Meanwhile, negotiations with Inter Milan for Brazilian defender Maicon moved quickly, with the 31-year-old expected to arrive in Manchester today after the two clubs agreed an initial £3m deal, potentially rising to £4.5m with add-ons.

Maicon, who played under Mancini at Inter, is understood to have taken a sizeable reduction in his £70,000-a-week wages at the San Siro.

But former Manchester City winger Adam Johnson yesterday sounded a note of caution for new arrivals, claiming he was barely on speaking terms with Mancini after completing his £10m move to Sunderland.

Johnson said: "He (Mancini) didn't really give reasons (for not playing me), we didn't really speak. The last time was before the Southampton game.

"He understood I wanted to play and said if we can get a good solution, we'll let you go. That's probably the best bit of advice he gave me.

"But as soon as I spoke to Martin O'Neill he made me feel wanted. When I made my debut, it felt as if I'd had the chains taken off me." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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