Pel­le­grini in £50m strike for Ne­gredo and Jovetic

Midweek Sport - - ON THE NOSE - By GRA­HAM CHASE

MANCH­ESTER CITY are on the verge of a mam­moth £50mil­lion striker swoop that Manuel Pel­le­grini be­lieves can wres­tle them back the Pre­mier League ti­tle.

City have fi­nally made the break­through in ne­go­ti­a­tions with Sevilla and are set to wrap up a £21.5m deal for Spain hit­man Al­varo Ne­gredo.

And Fiorentina for­ward Ste­van Jovetic is also on the verge of join­ing the Blues in a £28m deal.

It will take City’s sum­mer spend­ing close to the £100m mark, fol­low­ing the cap­tures of Shakhtar Donetsk mid­fielder Fer­nand­inho and Sevilla wide-man Je­sus Navas.

City have been in the mar­ket for at­tack­ing re­in­force­ments af­ter flog­ging Mario Balotelli and Car­los Tevez in the space of six months.

That left Ser­gio Aguero and Edin Dzeko as the only two se­nior front­men at the Eti­had Sta­dium.

Fire­power

Ne­gredo, 27, has ig­nited his ca­reer in a four-year stint at Sevilla, bang­ing in 70 goals in 139 ap­pear­ances.

Mon­tene­gro in­ter­na­tional Jovetic, 23, has been a reg­u­lar for Fiorentina for four years and is proven at Cham­pi­ons League level.

The two ar­rivals will give City the kind of fire­power that Pel­le­grini be­lieves will match the at­tack­ing op­tions avail­able to David Moyes at cham­pi­ons and bit­ter ri­vals Manch­ester United.

Pel­le­grini could also re­new his in­ter­est in Real Madrid defender Pepe af­ter be­ing re­buffed in his at­tempts to sign the Por­tuguese cen­tre-back ear­lier this sum­mer.

Now Real have hinted they may lis­ten to of­fers for the 30-year-old and City could bid £18m.

That could have an im­pact on Joleon Lescott’s fu­ture, with the defender set for talks with di­rec­tor of football Txiki Be­giris­tain.

City are also look­ing to sort out a new deal for defender Micah Richards.

Pel­le­grini is ham­mer­ing his play­ers dur­ing their pre-sea­son trip to South Africa, with the Blues graft­ing their way through three ses­sions a day.

BREAK­THROUGH: Ne­gredo

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