x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Manchester City step up transfer activity ahead of deadline

Bid accepted for Swansea's Sinclair while Inter Milan's Brazilian right-back Maicon given permission to talk to Premier League champions.

Inter Milan's Brazilian defender Maicon could be on his way to Manchester City. Anne-Christine Poujoulat / AFP
Inter Milan's Brazilian defender Maicon could be on his way to Manchester City. Anne-Christine Poujoulat / AFP

Manchester City have responded to Roberto Mancini's strident demands that his senior squad be reinforced by rushing to conclude a series of end-of-window transfers.

Principal among City's market moves is an attempt to recruit Javi Garcia as a new holding midfielder. Benfica are attempting to maximise their profit for the 25 year old who has played one full international for Spain by insisting that the Premier League champions meet a €30 million (Dh135m) buyout clause.

Mancini's preference had been to sign Daniele De Rossi for the position, but City consider the Italy captain prohibitively expensive.

They did not want to meet the €40m buyout on Javi Martinez's contract at Atheltic Bilbao, allowing the Spain international to join Bayern Munich instead.

On the right hand side of their defence, City are negotiating to purchase Mancini's choice in Maicon.

The Brazil international, 31, has been made available as part of Inter Milan's efforts to rationalise their wage bill and is ready to work with his former coach.

The transfer fee is expected to be €6m with Maicon seeking an increase on his €4m salary.

Andrea Stramaccioni, the Inter coach, has said he would not stand in Maicon's way. "It's not a totally new situation," Stramaccioni said according to the ANSA news agency. "In the right-back position I have [Javier] Zanetti and Jonathan [Moreira], although Maicon has very unique qualities. Let's see what happens. If he stays, then great. Otherwise, we'd be willing to say farewell to a great player."

A move more suited to City's long-term strategy of acquiring talented home-grown players is the purchase of Scott Sinclair. Swansea City have accepted a guaranteed payment of £6.2m (Dh35.95m) with a further £1.8m in variables for the England Under 21 international.

Sinclair had refused to extend his contract at Swansea. The deal means City have ended their interest in recruiting Marseille's Loic Remy for their right wing berth.

Mancini has been pushing for new arrivals to strengthen the club's chances of winning the Champions League this season.

"I think we need to improve for the Champions League," Mancini said last week.

"If we do a good job in the last week [of the transfer window] we can arrive in the final. That should be our target."

City have spent much of the summer attempting to reduce their salary commitments by moving on players Mancini was unhappy with. They are close to concluding a deal to sell the Dutch midfielder Nigel de Jong to AC Milan.