Mancini wants £38m Eto'o in straight swap for Tevez

Talisman heads closer to Inter switch but City manager must convince board over 30-year-old Cameroon star

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini will try to persuade his board to sanction a straight swap deal involving Carlos Tevez and Samuel Eto'o of Internazionale, despite profound doubts at City about the acquisition of a 30-year-old with no Premier League experience and minimal sell-on value.

Mancini knows he faces a tough task persuading the club to trust in his instincts on Eto'o, a player he respects hugely and whose arrival in a deal which would value each player at around £38m would remove all the problems associated with the return to England tomorrow of Tevez. The view from board level at the club yesterday revealed that the manager has a mountain to climb. But Mancini openly declared in late June that a swap deal had been considered for the Cameroonian and there is a view within the club that his decision to do so prompted the statement of 4 July, in which Tevez reiterated his desire to leave City.

Mancini has been conjuring with the idea of a deal to bring in the Cameroonian from early in the summer and resolved to encourage such a move and urge his board to listen to what Inter have to offer if their proprietor, Massimo Moratti, were to prove keen to do business. While Eto'o wants to leave for a final big deal before retirement, Tevez has long hankered after a move to Italy and the similar salaries the two command would appear to help City overcome the problem of the Argentine's prohibitive pay demands, which Moratti has already balked at earlier this summer.

Yet despite having made a putative move for Eto'o when he was a Barcelona player two years ago, the City board are unlikely to view this as a match made in heaven, with no guarantees that the player would be able to adapt quickly to the demands of Premier League football.

Mancini has made it clear this summer that he is prepared to push hard for the control he believes he is entitled to. "If the manager loses it's the manager who is sacked, so I think the manager needs to take every decision. If he makes a mistake, he pays for it," he said on tour in Los Angeles last week.

There was no huge optimism from Mancini yesterday that he was closer to winning this battle, though it is unclear what challenges Tevez's return will present. Mancini was non-committal in Los Angeles about who would be captain if the Argentine comes back and Vincent Kompany now seems made for the role.

Mancini also has his work cut out in the pursuit of Arsenal's Samir Nasri. He feels all the momentum has gone from City's quest to secure the Frenchman's services and Nasri's reluctance to reveal publicly his desire to leave north London – as Luka Modric has at Tottenham – reflects that he views manager Arsène Wenger's reluctance to release him with equanimity.

Nasri's failure to secure a move now deprives him of the higher salary he covets and – to his mind – the prospect of imminent silverware. But he knows he will play every game of the forthcoming season at Arsenal and will thus be able potentially to push for a place in France's side in next summer's European Championship, by which time he will be a free agent. Nasri, who always felt Arsenal were a stepping stone for him in England, certainly does not seem as desperate to move on as his team-mate Cesc Fabregas.

City are likely to start with their two main summer signings on the bench for Sunday's Community Shield with Manchester United. Gaël Clichy was rested from Sunday's mini-tournament in Dublin because of a clash of heads in the match with LA Galaxy and it is unlikely Mancini will consider Aleksandar Kolarov match-fit to face the Premier League champions. Sergio Aguero is also unlikely to start after a week of light training. Edin Dzeko has looked very strong in training, reflecting the sharper display from the player in Dublin.

City's David Silva, who was sublime in the 3-0 defeat of Inter in Dublin, has said he does not believe Tevez will struggle with his return to City. "Carlos has to return and, well, that's great. He's a very important player. I don't think [anyone will have a problem with him]. We know Carlos well. If he stays – great. There are a lot of competitions and we hope to play well in all. He'd help that. When he's on holiday you have to leave him be and let him relax. That way he comes back and actually can't wait to come back.

"Aguero is a brilliant player. I think he'll turn out very well and he can really help us. We have to adapt with him and he has to adapt with us. But I don't see a problem with that. And I doubt he does either."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?