One of the saga of the summer’s is still rumbling along and a conclusion doesn’t look any closer than it did a couple of months ago.
Manchester City fans remain convinced Pogba will be in the North-West by September, whilst Spanish outlets suggest a mooted move to Barcelona is nearly complete. While Yaya Toure is set to stay for at least another season, City will understandably be looking towards central midfielders to accompany Fernandinho and, ideally, displace Fernando.
The losses of James Milner and Frank Lampard this summer have left Pellegrini very limited in the midfield and will need players who can step up to the plate if Yaya Toure is to have another underwhelming campaign.
Here are FIVE options for Pellegrini…
Arsenal’s injury-plagued midfielder is one man that Pellegrini is believed to have been looking at this summer. The dire need for English additions to the Manchester City squad has increased the possibility of a Wilshere move and he may consider himself to have a better chance of regular minutes in central midfield at Manchester City.
The creativity from slightly deeper could allow Yaya Toure to play further forward and is developing his game to offer a defensive midfield option. A Wilshere-Toure partnership would be ideal against weaker sides and provides a player capable of linking up with David Silva and Raheem Sterling.
After taking a bit of time to settle in at Real Madrid, Luka Modric has established himself as one of the best central midfielders in world football. His role in supplying passes from deep to the brilliant front three of Ronaldo, Bale and Benzema has been crucial in the setup during Ancelotti’s time at the Bernabeu.
The prospect of Modric in a midfield featuring David Silva and feeding his wonderful outside of the foot passes to the direct runs of Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling. It will take quite an investment to prize the Croatian magician away from Real Madrid, but City and Pellegrini should be considering a move for a player than could push them towards another Premier League title.
One of the younger alternatives, Verratti, much like Pogba, has at least a decade left at the top of the European game. The Italian creator has already established himself as a key cog in the Paris Saint-Germain side and displayed his ability to perform in the biggest European games.
Verratti also displays the combative edge that the City midfield so often looks short of and would not be out-competed in the higher-tempo Premier League games.
The Italian turns 23 in November and would be a fresh face to an ageing Manchester City squad.
However many players Atletico sell on, they seem to continue to find a way to build on their squad year on year.
Koke is another who has been linked with a move away and recent dealings have shown that the smaller Madrid club have their price for each of their stars. Koke can operate on the right-side of midfield, too, and his versatility could be a welcome replacement for James Milner.
Koke would be comfortable as the right midfield man in a 4-2-3-1 or playing as one of the deeper two alongside a defensive midfield player and City could see the Atletico man as one of their most realistic targets.
Martinez would hardly be a direct alternative to Paul Pogba, but the Spaniard would finally provide Pellegrini with a world-class defensive midfield player and crucial protection to their defence.
Fernando has looked below par since his move last summer and Martinez’s arrival would allow further freedom to Fernandinho or Yaya Toure in a 4-2-3-1. City could consider adding another central midfielder alongside Martinez, who can also cover at centre-back, to allow them to bring in a deep lying playmaker.
The Bayern man can be found to lack mobility, but his reading off the game is one of the best in the world and would be a welcome addition to the league.