Wilfried Bony transfer: Manuel Pellegrini refuses to name the striker that Manchester City are working to sign this month

Pellegrini admits that the club are looking to bring in a replacement for Alvaro Negredo amid reports of a £30m transfer

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The Independent Online

Manuel Pellegrini has confirmed Manchester City are working to bring in another striker but refused to name Wilfried Bony as their number one target.

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Swansea boss Garry Monk said on Thursday that talks were ongoing between the clubs over the transfer of the 26-year-old, with a figure of £30million reported.

Bony made a club record £12million switch to Swansea from Dutch club Vitesse Arnhem in the summer of 2013 and has since scored 34 goals in 70 appearances for the Welsh club.

City manager Pellegrini said: "I don't talk about rumours. We are going to replace Alvaro Negredo because it was the decision that we've taken that we're going to sell him.

 

"We said we'd see in December if we need another striker. We need another striker so we are going to find which is the best player to play here."

Negredo's loan move to Valencia, which is due to become permanent in the summer, left City with only three experienced strikers for the first part of the season.

And their lack of options in that area were exposed last month when Sergio Aguero, Stevan Jovetic and Edin Dzeko all picked up injuries, meaning midfielder James Milner had to play as a makeshift striker.

City's transfer dealings are complicated by the restrictions placed on them after they failed to comply with Financial Fair Play rules.

The club's outlay across the summer and winter transfer windows cannot exceed £50million once money from sales is taken into account.

Paying £30million for Bony would take them over that but Pellegrini believes selling Negredo will give them leeway without having to let go of other players.

He said: "We must be in FFP so I don't think we are going to spend a lot. We sell already Alvaro Negredo so we have some money to spend."

The other restriction is on City's Champions League squad, with Pellegrini only able to choose from 21 players in the competition.

If Bony signs, the City boss would have to leave out a player who featured in their squad during the group stages.

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Pellegrini refused to confirm Bony was the striker that City want to sign

Pellegrini said: "At the moment, if we bring another player, we must see which of the players will not be in the squad for Champions League because we don't have space for a new player but that is a decision we are going to take one day before we need to do it, and that may be around the middle of February."

The Chilean, meanwhile, does not expect to strengthen in any other areas this month, although he has not ruled it out.

"For the moment, yes, it is the only one," he said. "I also said we have an option to use the transfer window until the last day and we will see what will happen in the future."

Defender Matija Nastastic and winger Scott Sinclair have both been linked with moves away from City this month but Pellegrini insisted they will only go if the right offers come in.

"They are working with us, Nastasic and Sinclair, without any problem," he said. "They are part of the squad. We will see if there are good offers for them and for the club. If not, they will work with us here."

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Sinclair has been linked with a move to another Premier League club

The City boss reported good news on the injury front, with Aguero, Dzeko and captain Vincent Kompany all in the squad for Saturday's Premier League trip to Everton.

Aguero has not played since limping off the pitch in tears early in City's victory over the same opponents at the Etihad Stadium a month ago.

Kompany suffered his latest muscle injury a week later while Dzeko picked up a calf problem in the Champions League victory over Roma on December 10.

PA

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