Will Mancini sacking persuade Sergio Aguero to stay at City?
Manuel Pellegrini's first job will be to persuade 'unhappy' striker to stay in Manchester
MANCHESTER CITY began life without Roberto Mancini with a 2-0 win away at Reading last night but one of the goal-scorers is being tipped to move away from the Etihad.
Sergio Aguero has "indicated to team-mates that he is ready to consider offers elsewhere", according to the Daily Mail. The 24-year-old striker, who a year ago scored the last-gasp winner against QPR that won City their first top-flight title in 44 years, is allegedly "unhappy" at City, a situation exacerbated by the breakdown of his marriage.
City are widely expected to appoint Malaga coach Manuel Pellegrini as Mancini's successor and the Mail says his first job will be to persuade the Argentine frontman to remain in Manchester. The paper adds that City officials hope the removal of Mancini will go some way to placating Aguero, who arrived at the club in 2011. As Chelsea prepare for their Europa League showdown against Benfica in Amsterdam tonight, the Evening Standard claims that the Blues "are close to agreeing a deal" with Borussia Dortmund that will see Kevin de Bruyne join the German outfit permanently. Apparently negotiations between the two clubs are well underway and the Standard says the 21-year-old playmaker has already agreed in principal to a five-year contract with Dortmund.
There is a fly in the ointment, however, and that concerns Chelsea's fervent desire to use the sale of de Bruyne as part of their strategy to pip Bayern Munich to the signing of Dortmund frontman Robert Lewandowski. The Standard says Chelsea are trying to convince Dortmund to give them "an option" to buy Lewandowski. If such a deal is not forthcoming then it's claimed that the Blues will want double the money for de Bruyne, despite the fact that the youngster - who joined Chelsea from Genk for £7m last year - has never played a game for the first team.
Meanwhile, Bayern have denied claims that they have agreed a deal with Santos for Neymar. The Brazilian striker has long been linked with a move to Europe this summer, with Chelsea, Manchester City, Barcelona and Real Madrid all said to be in the running for the signature of the 21-year-old.
But Bayern's form of late has led to speculation that Neymar could sign for the German champions. The Metro reports that former Santos official Vicente Cascione had declared it is "already a done deal" between Santos and Bayern, a claim that drew a sharp response from Bayern, with club spokesman Markus Horwick saying: "This is complete nonsense. There's absolutely no truth in this claim."
Still with Germany and Talksport reports that new Manchester United boss David Moyes will have a fight on his hands this summer to sign Nico Gaitan from Benfica.
Apparently Bayer Leverkusen have "earmarked" the 22-year-old Gaitan as a replacement for Chelsea-bound Andre Schurrle, and a big money offer will soon be made to the Portuguese side. Argentine Gaitan, who arrived at Benfica from Boca Juniors in 2010, is valued at £17m, a sum that might be too risky for Moyes as he looks to stamp his own imprint on the United squad.