After a disastrous World Cup, Italy experienced a premature return to the land of cappuccinos, calico and the bella donna – oh, how I want a holiday – but one member of that underwhelming squad looks likely to be back on his scooter shortly (the cheap stereotypes just keep dripping out).
Originally Juventus appeared firmly in the driving seat to sign the 25-year-old from a reluctant Sampdoria, but Man City are apparently ready to scupper any deal. Indeed, Mancini is known to have been a strong admirer of Pazzini’s talents for a long time and is thus considering a swoop – particularly if Wolfsburg’s Edin Dzeko proves unattainable. Arsenal have also reportedly shown interest in the past, but it seems they will not be competing for his signature.
The tricky Italian had a muted World Cup with the Azzurri – appearing only once as a second-half substitute – but has consistently demonstrated goal scoring proficiency and aplomb in the Serie A. Last season was particularly striking, with Pazzini bagging 19 league goals and becoming the leading light in Sampdoria’s impressive fourth placed finish. His international peak thus far actually came for the under-21 side against England; scoring a stunning hat-trick in the new Wembley.
As implied, Sampdoria club president Riccardo Garrone has indicted his desire to hold onto their prime asset, especially ahead of a Champions League campaign. However, Man City’s spending power could well weaken that resolve; a bid in the excess of £20million would be required. Mancini has already secured some prudent signings, in the form of Jerome Boateng, David Silva and now Yaya Toure, and is collating quite a squad, could this be another addition…
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