Date: 7th August 2014 at 9:31am
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As City prepare for their third Community Shield appearance in four season starts, VMC’s Lorna wonders where Eliaquim Mangala is amongst other considerations…

Well are we or aren’t we finally going to get the player we want in 23 year old Eliaquim Mangala? If this deal is to happen I can and will breathe a huge sigh of relief. It would mean City have beaten the likes of Chelsea and The Stretfords who were hot on the France international’s tail and at a good price of £32 million to boot. We are going to need all the strength we can muster to retain our title as I get the feeling the likes Jose Mourinho’s men are going to be battering down the door in an attempt to secure the title and beleive me when I say they look a strong side!

Hacks are reporting this week that a deal is very close. If so, Mangala would be our second summer signing from Porto. If only the deal had gone through as sublimely as Fernando’s did following a January saga whereby a double deal was almost pulled off.

Chelsea spent £12.5m on January’s deadline day on Kurt Zouma who has now gone on loan at Saint Etienne. Perhaps they might still yet push for a late Managal bid. United had at one time under The Moyesiah considered putting a bid in for Mangala but I get the feeling the fee was a little too high before their big spending started. Mangala does have an athletic ‘raw’ talent about him and I really hope he comes to us to partner our Vinnie.

Up front, there is a little part of me that wishes we could acquire another forward seeing as Alvaro Negredo is out injured for three months. I don’t think we can rely on Sergio Aguero as he factually gets injured a little too much and if Negredo and Aguero are both sidelined then Manuel Pellegrini’s options would be restricted again as they were for much of last season. I do however on the other hand like the prospect of on fire Stevan Jovetic and Edin Dzeko being our main hit men. And who would have thought that forgotten man Scott Sinclair would come out fighting this summer like he has done. What a belter. My, he has grown up since his loan spell. I’d like to see us keep him and utilise him more than we did previously when he was a serial bench warmer. He seems to be playing for his City future now and I hope he continues to perform like he has done in the pre-season friendlies. Maybe this season is his time to shine and impress The Engineer. On the USA tour Jesus Navas, Jovetic and Sinclair played perfectly together and the results spoke for themselves.

I am really quite excited about this new season and the battle that is about to ensue.

The final word goes to Yaya Toure who I have slated this summer; he has balls I’ll give him that. Apparently he had no intentions of leaving. Whatever, what was that fuss all about then? Misguided publicity? God knows. I am not convinced anyway. That is my final word on the cakegate saga.

Talking of central midfield, a Mangala signing to the City ranks could ruffle a few feathers and cause upheavals in certain areas one of which is rumoured to be the role of the resurgent Javi Garcia. I know we have to abide by FFP and the home grown player status, max 17 and with Mangala on board it would be 18 so a possible breach lies ahead. But why would we want Garcia out? I can’t see the logic myself especially after the performances himself and Martin Demichelis put in last season but that is only my opinion. The media hold a different view and they reckon it would make sense to get rid of Garcia as he lacks pace. Surely, there is more to a player than pace? Now settled, he is quite an intelligent player, has tactical awareness but the one thing that seemed to deny him regular starts last season could be down to his lack of pace and speed of thought. All I can say on this point is that with the title challenge in peril in the closing weeks of Spring, Garcia, as well as Demichelis, Dzeko and David Silva, emerged as some of City’s best and most consistent players when it mattered.

That said, the arrival of Fernando will I must admit push Javi further down the pecking order, and a move to a league where technical proficiency is valued over pace may well see him flourish. Let’s see what happens.

Back to the forward line, I have also been keeping an eye on the interest surrounding at the sidelined Negredo and his alleged unhappiness at being away from home. I did actually think that he would leave this summer after an indifferent second half of the season but I have hopefully been proven wrong and after watching his interview on CityTV I am actually a little encouraged that he will stay in town. He has promised to “be back with a vengeance”. I sure hope he does because it is going to be a long hard fight to retain our title.

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