Italian football website Tuttomercato.com have reported that Manchester City are weighing up a bid for Roma’s French centre-back Philippe Mexès, but what is the Citizens’ recent obsession with recruiting defenders?
This summer they have already signed Hamburg’s German defender Jerome Boateng for a fee of around £10.3million. Last summer they were involved in a drawn out saga for Joleon Lescott for a reported £22million from Everton.
Aside from those two they have Nedum Onuoha, Micah Richards, Kolo Toure and Vincent Kompany on the books at Eastlands and all of them can play as a centre half.
Why do they need all these defender? Surely they must think that some of the above are not up to it, or are they just being foolish with their money?
Mexes, 28, is certainly a player who comes with a reputation and his Roma side narrowly missed out on the Serie A title after finishing just two points behind treble winning Inter Milan. However, this past season Mexes has not been a regular starter as Claudio Ranieri has preferred Juan and Nicolas Burdisso as a central defensive partnership.
The French defender also failed to make Raymond Domenech’s 23-man France squad for the World Cup in South Africa…maybe he was born under the wrong star sign, but more likely it had something to do with the fact Domenech had a falling out with the player.
Despite all that his club manager Ranieri believes that he is the best French defender and has been unlucky with injuries over the 2009/10 season:
“Mexes is a first-choice player in every way.
“Unfortunately, he’s missed some matches due to injury and not because of my decisions.
“For me he’s the best French central defender. But, at the moment, Juan and Burdisso are just above him.”
Mexes has been at Roma since 2004 and has insisted that he does not wish to leave. But it is doubtful whether he would resist a big money move to Manchester City. It could also be a good move for Roberto Mancini’s club as the mooted transfer fee is believed to be just over £8million, which could be a bargain.
However, with so many players on the Sky Blues’ books already the arrival of Boateng and perhaps another defender could mean that the likes of Onuoha and Richards may be deemed surplus to requirements.
A few seasons ago Richards (a target for Harry Redknapp’s Totteham) was built up as one of the best young defensive talents in the Premier League, but you could argue that his growth has been stunted at City and it could be good for him to leave the club as he is still only 21 years of age. Also, from talking to a few posters on the BBC’s 606 it would seem as if he has come under some stick from his own fans, who argue that the player it lazy and has been found out.
As for Mexes, if Mancini wants to bring the player to Eastlands he may face some stiff competition as Arsenal and Serie A’s AC Milan are also tracking the player and are rumoured to be interested in signing the player.
Do the Manchester City fans think that Mexes would be a wise move? Do the club need a defensive clearout?