La Liga

Manchester Clubs To Battle For International Stars

Higuain for hire - United vs City

Gonzalo Higuain

There are isolated rumours of a swap deal between Manchester City and Real Madrid in which Emmanuel Adebayor will be moving from Eastlands to the Bernabeu. City have had the necessary money to turn heads for a long time now, and with Higuain one of the top performers in the World Cup, the Argentinian hotshot may be ripe for picking.

The fact that Joao Alves Jo and Mario Balotelli threaten Adebayor’s place in the City starting lineup is a sad one, and will precipitate a swift exit come January. Views from fans will be mixed, but Adebayor’s departure could be a blessing in disguise, especially if there is disharmony between player and manager, as implied in a very recent quote from Mancini:

“I don’t know if he wants to stay or not. I think he must stay because he has a contract and he’s an important player.


“It’s a farce to say we fought in the dressing room or on the training pitch.

“We discussed the situation with his injury but on Monday he worked with the team.”

Adebayor also foresaw trouble early in the season with an ominous sounding statement:

“The season is going to be very long and very difficult for myself. I’m a footballer and have to keep going and not give up. I need to keep fighting for myself and enjoying my football.

“If you’re in a team and you’re not playing, and there is a team that comes in for me, then I will definitely be on my way out because I’m a footballer and I love playing.

“So if I don’t have a chance to play here there will be a lot of chance to play somewhere else. If they [Manchester City] force you out then you always have to follow your destiny.”

Certainly, if Higuain can reproduce his World Cup form in the Premier League, the blue sky is the limit for Mancini’s vastly growing outfit.

Karim Benzema

The man whose personal life has been troubled in recent times has emerged as an alleged target of Sir Alex Ferguson, but any attempt to sign the Bernabeu exit-door bound Frenchman may be usurped by their rivals. Over the summer, the cracks started to appear as Mourinho allegedly criticised Benzema in front of the entire Real Madrid squad, saying:

“If it was just for you I would make training at midday because you arrived at 10 o’clock half asleep and then by 11 you are already sleeping again.”

Jose Mourinho also recently stated in a press conference:

“Benzema must understand that he is extremely talented but that in itself is not enough. I need Karim. For me he is a very important player but he has to put himself out there.”

However, Mancini is already aware of the tension between the two, and will look to exploit this sensitivity in the form of a large wage bill. With the departure of Roque Santa Cruz also touted in addition to Adebayor, City will be on the prowl for their next gun.

Edinson Cavani

United are evidently looking for Diego Forlan MKII, but better. Unfancied Uruguay had a relatively strong World Cup, with Cavani scoring one goal against Germany in the 3-2 Third-Place Playoff defeat. Cavani is currently at Napoli, on loan from Palermo, and with both teams merely respectable mid tablers in Serie A, the lure of perpetual Champions League football may prove too much for the Uruguayan.

City do enjoy signing their strikers though, and looking at the situation objectively, Cavani could easily be lured away for the right price. If both clubs continue their apparent pursuit of Cavani, then a real battle could be witnessed in the January transfer window. As if this wasn’t enough, Cavani is also said to be interested in a move to Liverpool during the 2011 summer transfer window – if he stays at Palermo until then, the battle for his signature could rumble on and dominate the newsfeed all summer.

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