Will Mancini Think He’s Worth £80,000 A Week? Bilbao Don’t Think So…

Fernando Lorente’s contract negotiations with Ateltic Bilbao have stalled once again, finally paving the way for Manchester City, Chelsea and Spurs to move in on one of the most highly rated strikers in Spain say The Metro.

Bilbao are apparently unwilling to meet the strikers £80,000 pw wages, leaving them with no option but to sell a player with only 12 months left on his contract. Having scored 90 goals in 236 games in La Liga, there are plenty of clubs willing to meet the cut-price £15 million they want for the player.

Man City look the most ldeal destination. As they look to reduce the wage bill by selling Adebayor, Santa Cruz, Dzeko and possibly Tevez, City are in need of a new striker. Believe it or not, £80 000 a week would be a significant reduction in their average wages. Mancini likes to field a secondary striker (Aguero) behind a more powerful centre forward. Balotelli fills this role but is of course a little bit too unpredictable to e relied on each week in a title challenge. Dzeko simply hasn’t worked out.

At 6 ft 5, Lorente would be a great addition to the side, fulfilling the role Mancini had hoped Dzeko could. The pursuit of Robin van Persie has essentially ended, leaving the City boss with no clear transfer targets and very few players good enough to partner their Argentinian superstar upfront.

The biggest issue for Mancini concerns offloading the deadwood. He has been ordered to sell before he can buy; a harder task than it is for most managers. His unwanted list is made up of players out of match practice and on ludicrous wages. Considering these players knew they were sacrificing playing time for money when they joined the club, not many of them are particularly willing to take the wage cut required to move on.

Llorente, in terms of price, wages, and ability, suits Man City perfectly; perhaps his low(ish) valuation will allow Mancini to twist the owners’ arm. The reasons why the RVP deal fell through are still unclear – if it was over the fee itself, then Lorente will be too expensive as well.

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