Manchester City are in talks to add to their options upfront, but manager Manuel Pellegrini is not naming names.
Pellegrini’s affirmation comes after Swansea City boss Garry Monk disclosed that ‘talks’ were ongoing between both clubs over the transfer of Wilfried Bony. The Cote d’Ivoire international arrived at the Liberty Stadium for a club record £12m from Dutch club Vitesse Arnhem in the summer of 2013 and has since netted 34 times in 70 appearances for the Welsh club.
“I don’t talk about rumours,” the Chilean boss said. “We are going to replace Alvaro Negredo because it was the decision that we’ve taken that we’re going to sell him. We said we’d see in December if we need another striker. We need another striker so we are going to find which is the best player to play here.”
City are expected to make permanent Alvaro Negredo’s loan transfer to Valencia. They have had to make do with three out-an-out strikers for the first part of the season in absence of the Spaniard. Midfielder James Milner was employed as a makeshift striker last month when the trio of Sergio Aguero, Stevan Jovetic and Edin Dzeko all picked up injuries.
But in view of the restrictions placed on the Premier League champions after they failed to comply with Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules, paying a reported £30m fee for Bony would have well exceeded the £50m outlay handed the club by European football governing body across the summer and winter transfer windows once money from sales is taken into account.
But Pellegrini believes selling Negredo will help them make up leeway for Bony’s arrival at the Etihad Stadium.
“We must be in FFP so I don’t think we are going to spend a lot,” he said. “We sell already Alvaro Negredo so we have some money to spend.”
Should the signing of Bony go through, Pelegrini will also have to drop a player from their squad from the UEFA Champions League group stage campaign so as to include the striker, due to the 21-man squad restriction slammed on the club.
“At the moment, if we bring another player, we must see which of the players will not be in the squad for Champions League,” Pellegrini said. “We don’t have space for a new player but that is a decision we are going to take one day before we need to do it, and that may be around the middle of February.”
Pellegrini is, in the meantime, concerned about the striking position but remains hopeful on beefing up any other areas.
“For the moment, yes, it is the only one,” he said. “I also said we have an option to use the transfer window until the last day and we will see what will happen in the future.”