Wilfried Bony to Manchester City: Premier League champions join chase for striker to increase firepower

Swansea's Ivorian striker is expected to cost £25m

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The Independent Football

Manchester City are in advanced talks with Swansea City over a move  for Ivorian striker Wilfried Bony, who is expected to cost them £25m.

City denied a week ago that they were interested in the player and their move reveals just how worried they are about their lack of firepower, which has been exacerbated by the highly questionable decision to allow Alvaro Negredo out on loan to Valencia last summer.

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If they sign Bony, City will be compelled to earn themselves a substantial sum of money in player sales this month to ensure that they comply with the £49m net spending limit imposed on them by Uefa, as punishment for failing to meet Financial Fair Play rules last year.

City have already spent a net sum of £38.8m on last summer’s buys, including Eliaquim Mangala, even accounting for the sales of Javier Garcia and Jack Rodwell. Mangala’s transfer fee has repeatedly been reported as £32m but in fact was closer to £40m due to third-party ownership.

Milan and Schalke are competing to sign City defender Matija Nastasic and the club also hope to see Scott Sinclair out of the door. But it seems that City will need to bring in £14.8m in transfer revenues if Bony does cost them £25m.

Buying Bony would also mean that another of their overseas players has to drop out of City’s Champions League squad, because under the terms of their Uefa sanctions they are only able to register 13 overseas players. Manager Manuel Pellegrini would either have to disappoint one of his current squad, possibly Stevan Jovetic, or take the more unlikely course of keeping Bony for just the Premier League.

A £25m price seems probable. The Swansea chairman, Huw Jenkins, shrewdly renegotiated Bony’s contract last summer, delivering him a pay rise in order to remove the £20m break clause which had been in his previous deal – signed when he joined from Dutch club Vitesse Arnhem in 2013 for £12m, a record for the Welsh club. The Swansea manager, Garry Monk, has previously said it would take an “astronomical” sum of money to prise Bony away from south Wales.

City have been forced to play midfielder James Milner as a centre-forward over Christmas, but are expected to welcome Edin Dzeko back into the side at Everton on Saturday. Sergio Aguero’s return date from his knee injury is unclear. He revealed on Monday that he has now started “field work”.

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