It’s that time of year again, the silly season when the January transfer window opens and clubs wait until the last five minutes of the final hour before deciding that they need to sign a crucial player who is either stuck somewhere on the M1 or reportedly just landed at a regional airport.
Those of you who are regular readers may remember my tales of Sergio Billy Bob Costa-Rodriguez-Chevalier-Smyth who has been tearing it up recently for FC Athletico Sporting La Bayer VFL Wanderers SV; and really the quality of rumour quite often lowers itself to that level, but let’s take a look at the players who have been recently linked with City.
Roma’s box-to-box midfielder Daniele De Rossi continues to be linked with both City and United, a connection that on the face of it makes little sense even though manager Roberto Mancini has been quoted praising the player. The obvious inference would be that De Rossi would replace Gareth Barry, but De Rossi is more a like for like replacement for Yaya Toure than Barry who plays more of a stay at home midfielder in the current City setup. Do keep in mind however that De Rossi’s contract expires in the summer and the lack of a transfer fee, or a greatly reduced one in these times of UEFA Status Quo rules will encourage teams to make a move.
Belgian international Eden Hazard is another favourite of the press at the moment. Once more this doesn’t pass the smell test. With Silva easily the player of the year and Nasri in the squad there is nowhere for Hazard to play. Chelsea or Arsenal seem much more likely a location should the attacking midfielder leave Lille.
Closer to home, Robin van Persie keeps being linked with the club? Why? That the dutchman is a great scorer is a given, but who do you sit? Aguero, Balotelli or Dzeko, the latter of whom has played the least and yet appears to have a good understanding with Silva and Aguero when he plays. It doesn’t make any sense. City can’t start 20 players each game and even if City did make such a move all it would do is guarantee that a youngster like John Guidetti, who is currently scoring freely on loan at Feyenoord, will move on rather than waiting for his opportunity.
I understand that the business of newspapers is to sell newspapers, but still that quality of the transfer rumours is pretty ridiculous.
The problem, I suspect, is that defenders just aren’t sexy when it comes to generating news. But it’s a defender that City need if they are to make a move in the January transfer window. With the Toure brothers heading off to the African Cup of Nations and Stefan Savic reportedly a loan target of Sporting Lisbon, City would be somewhat thin at the back should anything happen to Vincent Kompany or Joleon Lescott.
Which brings us to the current rumours concerning defenders that City are looking at in the transfer window. That would be none, as in zip and nada. The rumour mill is unerringly silent. Which means the chances are pretty good that City are unlikely to make any kind of a splash this month.