It’s been an unusually quiet transfer window for Manchester City but the Premier League champions look set for a late flurry of activity having agreed a fee for Scott Sinclair.
Swansea have accepted a bid of £6.2 million, potentially rising to £8 million for the winger who will join City subject to a medical and agreeing personal terms.
Given the inflated prices for English players, Mancini will be pleased at the relatively cheap deal for a player who will be a reliable back up to more high profile stars. Comfortable on either flank, Sinclair is a like for like replacement for the recently departed Adam Johnson. That is to say, he can expect to see as little first team action as the new Sunderland recruit.
His desire to join the Premier League champions is understandable. Having impressed last season, Sinclair clearly wants to test himself at a higher level but in joining City he has risked losing out on regular first team football. He will most certainly play understudy to Samir Nasri and David Silva and his quest for trophies and champions league football will limit his playing time.
The 23-year-old may not be the only late arrival at the Etihad Stadium, with Roberto Mancini stepping up his interest in Inter Milan right back Maicon. The Brazilian only has a year left on his contract and could be allowed to leave for £4.7 million.
With Micah Richards injured, Mancini is keen to provide cover for Pablo Zabaleta. Like Sinclair, the Brazilian is good acquisition given the price and the quality he brings, particularly as a back up option. At 31, he has won everything possible for Inter Milan and so is perhaps looking for one last pay day. He certainly has a few years at the top left in him and should be a good piece of business by Mancini.
The attractive aspect of both deals is the fact that both are relatively cheap and give City strength in depth. But they are not marquee signings and that is perhaps a concern. Admittedly Mancini still has the spine of the team that won the Premier League at his disposal. Hart, Kompany, Yaya Toure, Silva, Aguero, not to mention a few more are all world class players and are more than capable of delivering success again.
But to maintain success you need to strengthen, to provide competition. Do the aforementioned stars see Sinclair, Maicon, Jack Rodwell and Matija Nastasic as competition? In reality, with a fully fit squad all four would struggle to gain a starting place.
Manchester City still have an enviable squad, but have the new signings improved it? Probably not. Strength in depth is important and given the strength of City’s squad that is perhaps all they needed this summer. But when you consider Chelsea, the European Champions, have invested heavily in first team players it is surprising Mancini has not done the same.
It would be naive to suggest that City will suffer from the lack of major signings. They are still favourite’s to retain the Premier League. Can they be defeated? More significant transfers would perhaps given them an air of invincibility. But that hasn’t happened. So while it will be a tough task, someone may be able to take their Premier League crown.
With deadline day almost upon us, Arsene is running out of time to strengthen the squad.