Ezequiel Lavezzi is on Manchester City’s radar
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Manchester City are in negotiations to sign Napoli forward Ezequiel Lavezzi, according to the agent of manager Roberto Mancini.
City are looking to strengthen their squad ahead of a first tilt at the Champions League this season, with the club wrapping up the signing of 20-year-old defender Stefan Savic on Wednesday.
And, with Carlos Tevez seemingly determined to try and force his way out of the club, Mancini’s agent Giorgio de Giorgis believes the club may have already identified a replacement for the Argentine in one of his international team-mates.
Lavezzi scored six goals in Serie A last season, providing a further 12 assists. However, City are believed to be reluctant to pay the £28 million asking price Napoli have put in place.
“Manchester City’s interest in Lavezzi could be a reality,” De Giorgis told Radio CRC. “They have been negotiating for the past few months with Napoli, regardless of Tevez’s situation. City has spoken to Napoli about Pocho [Lavezzi].
“But 31 million euros for Lavezzi, I think it’s excessive. However, to find a player who is ready like Pocho is, it’s not easy.”
City could offer Napoli a player in exchange to smooth the deal, but De Giorgis worries only one player in the current squad might prove a viable makeweight.
“Manchester City could include a player in the deal, but I don’t know what player could interest Napoli,” he noted. “The only one could be [Gareth] Barry, who is an England international and does not have a high salary.”
However, the player’s agent has denied there has been any contact between the two parties.
“We have never spoken to Manchester City,” Alejandro Mazzoni told Radio Kiss Kiss. “If the right offer did arrive, then we could talk it over with Napoli. At the moment an offer has not come in, but that would be a fairly normal event, considering the talent of the player.
“If an important bid is received, then the Napoli president will decide, along with us, whether or not to evaluate these new proposals.”
For his part, last month Mancini named Lavezzi among a number of Italy-based players he is interested in signing.
“I like Ezequiel Lavezzi, Marek Hamsik and Edinson Cavani,” Mancini said.