Roberto Mancini clearly wants a new full back, a few weeks ago it appeared that Barcelona defender Dani Alves was his first choice, then focus switched to Dutch fullback Gregory van der Wiel. Well according to reports in today’s press the Manchester City boss is also after a left back and has had his scouts sent to Portugal to watch Benfica defender Fabio Coentrao.
Where this leaves Aleksander Kolarov who was signed from Lazio last Summer remains to be seen, but it is fair to say City have struggled in the left back position this season, the best performer being rightback and fan favourite Pablo Zabaleta.
Coentrao began his playing career in his native country playing for Rio Ave at 16. During a spell of 3 seasons with the club he broke into their first team and the attacking fullback was attracting the attention of bigger clubs and he was eventually transfered to current club Benfica in 2007. He spent the next 3 seasons on loan at different clubs where he learnt his trade and perfected his game. Upon returning to Benfica for the 2009-1010 season he made the left back position his own and from there he has continued to impress and appeared in every game for Portugal in last Summers world cup.
During and after the tournament in South Africa there were numerous reports linking him with moves elsewhere. He was linked with Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Real Madrid, AC Milan and Manchester City who are now renewing their interest in the player.
The full back is extremely attack minded something that may worry City fans as they have had that in Kolarov and it has been the defensive side of the game where he has struggled. There is however the suggestion that he would be an upgrade, he is very quick, a good dribbler and has a good cross on him as well as an eye for goal.
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There is thought to be a get out clause in the players contract that is about £25million and the Eastlands hierarchy are trying to assess whether the player is worth that amount, there are suggestions that Benfica may accept less than the clause is worth, rumours are rife that they would be willing to do business for around £18million.
Should a bidding war ensue it is hard to predict where the player would choose to move, he has previously stated his desire to play in Spain, however he is supposedly good friends with new Chelsea signing David Luiz who according to reports is convincing him that the Premier League is the place to be.
The implications for City are interesting, Kolarov has flattered to deceive so far this term and lately Roberto Mancini has been playing him in a more advanced role, but it would be wrong to write him off so soon. With it appearing likely that Wayne Bridge won’t be at the club next year the signing of a new left back seems likely, and Coentrao would be a good addition what becomes of Kolarov though remains to be seen.
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