Window to slam in Mancini's face as Bayern close in on Martinez


Click to follow
The Independent Online

Manchester City are in danger of ending the transfer window period without making the marquee signing their manager has demanded.

The arrival of the winger Scott Sinclair, pictured, from Swansea today will be only the second major transfer the club has completed since bringing the Premier League title to Eastlands.

In the wake of Sunday's 2-2 draw at Liverpool, Roberto Mancini argued that the final week of the window would go a long way to determining how City defend their title.

However, it seems likely they will miss out on their most important target, Javi Martinez, who is likely to go to Bayern Munich.

As a centre-half who can also play as a holding midfielder, the 23-year-old would fill a significant gap at the Etihad. However, Bayern have declared themselves willing to pay the full £32m buyout clause of Martinez's Athletic Bilbao contract.

Like other members of the European financial elite, Manchester City seem to have accepted a while ago that Napoli would not be selling Edinson Cavani. The Uruguayan striker is on the point of accepting a four-year deal to remain at the Stadio San Paolo.

The Fiorentina striker, Stevan Jovetic, is available but the club president, Andrea delle Valle, said that they are reluctant to do business now that the Serie A season has begun.

Had City managed to sign Martinez – and their financial muscle still gives them a slight chance – it might have signalled the beginning of the end for Nigel de Jong at the club. The midfielder agreed with Mancini's assessment that the champions were "not playing at 100 per cent for various reasons".

At Anfield, for the third successive league game, they were forced to overturn a 2-1 deficit.

"We have to sort some small things out and keep improving because it is not going to be easy," said De Jong. "Wherever we go, people are going to want to beat the champions so we have to stand tall with each other and improve.

"Falling behind is becoming a bad habit. We picked it up in the final game of last season and we have continued with it in the first two league games. We must improve, there are enough qualities in this squad."

It is also a squad that requires trimming and that process could continue if either Malaga or Real Betis can come up with around £3m to sign forgotten striker Roque Santa Cruz.