Manchester City are encountering competition from Juventus in their pursuit of the Bosnian striker Edin Dzeko, though the club head off for their pre-season training camp in the United States today in no rush to add to their squad, having already secured three of their prime targets.
City are unwilling to match Wolfsburg's demand for the full payment of a £35m release clause for Dzeko and do not value him above £20m, so Juventus, with a €60m (£49.7m) summer transfer budget of their own, may beat City to the punch. Another initial Eastlands target, Everton's Mikel Arteta, may remain at Everton following City's purchase of £24.5m David Silva.
Arteta has slipped down the priority list and, though his contract talks at Goodison have stalled, Everton feel that the loyalty they showed to him during his long-term absence with a ruptured cruciate knee ligament may be repaid by him agreeing to sign a new deal to keep him on Merseyside.
Though Joe Cole is another who has been linked with City, their manager, Roberto Mancini, does not appear to rate the player particularly highly and he is another who has dropped down the list. City are hoping that James Milner will push for a move from Aston Villa while the club is in the US – the club feel the ball is now in his court – while Benfica's full-back, David Luiz, is another player of interest.
Mancini named Aleksandar Kolarov, Lazio's Serbian left-back, as a player he liked in an Italian radio interview last week, in which he also said that one of the young African players he had seen at the World Cup had impressed him – possibly Samuel Inkoom or Isaac Vorsah.
Since City do not have to sell to buy, Mancini will wait until he knows who is coming into the club before deciding who is to go out, with Stephen Ireland, Nedum Onuoha and Michael Johnson among those whose prospects of regular first-team football are dwindling and who may lobby for a move.
The young Slovakian left-winger Vladimir Weiss, who impressed during his side's World Cup games, will have to convince Mancini when he returns to training that he is worth sticking with. Weiss is one of the most impressive of City's recent Academy graduates, though going out on loan at relegation-threatened Bolton Wanderers last season was not a move conducive to him.