Friday, July 23, 2010

Rumoured Signings — Kolarov, Balotelli and Milner

It's been an unusual week for City in the fact that we've expected to secure a number of signings, but for one reason or another, we are yet to officially sign any of them.

In the mean-time, I've been putting off ordering the new City kit with "Balotelli 45" on the back, and I've got a cracking Photoshop starring Aleksandar Kolarov and Alex Ferguson ready to publish... and yet nothing!

So where exactly are we at currently?

Aleksandar Kolarov: £17m from Lazio
Despite being reported as a done deal in most media outlets, including the BBC, this time last week, the deal seems to have hit a bit of a snag. It has been suggested that his agent has been busy with another client, Martin Jol, in securing a possible deal with Fulham. Hopefully now that situation has been resolved, his attention returns to this transfer.

Haven't seen much of the lad play in fairness, I don't remember him having much of an impact in the Serbia v Australia match in the World Cup, although I was mostly focused on another target of ours, Milos Krasnic.

So I'm relying on YouTube for clues — and remember Georgios Samaras looked amazing on YouTube, so take it with a pinch of salt. But he reminds me a little of another Serb who played for Lazio, Sini Mihajlovic.

Kolarov gives us something that we don't currently have, an overlapping winger to give us that extra width in attack. Chelsea have Ashley Cole, the Rags have Patrice Evra, and Liverpool use Glen Johnson in this role. This also allows the central midfielders (for instance, Yaya Toure and Nigel De Jong) to drop back into a defensive four without the ball in a 4-2-3-1.

For periods last season, we seemed to have 6 in defense and 4 up-front, with no-one in central midfield. I imagine the signing of Kolarov will allow Silva or Johnson to play a little more central than they were previously.

Mario Balotelli: £20m+ from Inter Milan
Nothing I could say about the kid could be better summised than what this chap here has written. So take it away Paul:
I watch the Italian football every week, mostly on streams to be honest, but I catch the odd game on TV when I can. I always get the highlights, so take that for what you will.

Anyway, I'd swap anybody in our team for this kid. He has a terrible attitude, mainly because he was racially abused from the year dot over there so now doesn't give a fuck about Inter, and although he plays for Inter though his heart is at AC. The thing that people don't remember though, is that he has never put anybody under any false illusions. In the past, he has said that AC was his boyhood club, and while it was certainly a great honour and respect to be playing for Inter, he will always retain a special place in his heart for AC. This is where everything kicked off and got progressively worse. The Inter fans then pretty much gave him stick every time he put on a shirt, so like most teenagers, he reacted by trolling them and putting on an AC shirt in a press conference.

He's a daft kid, who has a very poor relationship with his current fan base (which to be honest is mainly his fault because he doesn't know when to shut up), he isn't Anelka who gets bored and moves on; different player, different circumstances.

Balo has the potential to be the best Italian striker for decades. If the guy was English, he'd be worth £80m.

Such an exciting player to watch, a really honest kid with a lot of fight inside of him. He refuses to be bullied by anybody though does know when to show respect to people. I can't see him having a single problem once he leaves Inter, and he is definitely the next big thing in football. He wouldn't be our Rooney, he'd be our Ronaldo.

Terrific player, and I'd love to see him here.
Whereas Robinho has spent most of his life being told just how good he is, and is therefore probably less hungry as a result — Balo is the complete opposite. His attitude comes from a desire to prove the haters wrong.

I believe once Balotelli reunites with Mancini, the manager that had so much faith in him — and of course, if we don't sing racist chants towards him every game — he'll be a much happier person, and a much better player than he already is. And he's already the best player in the world for his age.

I've never been more excited about a potential signing than I have with Mario.

James Milner: £20m+ from Aston Villa
We've courted Milner for a number of months, with our interest in the Villa midfielder reported all the way back in May. There appeared to be some negotiation between the clubs before the World Cup, with offers said to be anywhere from 20 to 30 million pounds.

After Milner and his English teammates failed to set the world alight in South Africa, news of this transfer seemed to drop off the radar.

Then amazingly, a day after Roberto Mancini declares his interest in Landon Donovan, a somewhat similar player to Milner, representatives from Villa are tripping over themselves to announce that James Milner is in fact available for sale — and the player himself has indicated his desire for a move away from Villa Park.

So we have an interesting situation on our hands where we have an unsettled player, and a manager who is keen to sell, but only at the "right price" of course. But now we are now the ones in control of this transfer — we have "hand".

I think at the £20 million quoted, Milner would be a top, top signing. He's versatile, filling in at either the right-wing or the centre of midfield, and could even drop back into defense in an emergency.

He's one of those players that does not get a lot of headlines for what he does, and therefore, a lot of people's response is: "Who? Why are we paying so much for him? He's shit". Here's just how shit he was for Aston Villa last year.
37% - James Milner either scored or assisted 19 of Aston Villa's 52 (37%) Premier League goals last season. Fulcrum (courtesy of OptaJoe on Twitter).
So... hopefully we have some concrete news about signings in the next week or so. But maybe not. As we've discovered, it's not like those deals on FIFA10 where you simply throw lots of money at the player and the club and they sign up.


  1. I can't say I really want Milner - he doesn't offer that much extra over what we've got, doesn't seem to have the pace, and judging from the World Cup, I hope he always goes second when he plays noughts and crosses because he couldn't put a cross in a box.

    He *is* English though, so that's useful, and he is a good player - I'm just not sure where he'd fit in...

  2. i'd love landon...
    i'd even go as far to say if we bought him today, i would probably order the new kit with his name tomorrow


Enter your comment here - why not put a username so we can refer to your post?