sport

Man City plan three signings

Premier League champions Manchester City are likely to make only three new signings this summer, reports James Cooper.

The club's key priority is strengthening their defensive options with winter target, Porto's Elaquim Mangala, at the top of their shopping list.

But with City aiming to do their business quickly, as they did last summer, and Mangala keen to keep his options open until after the World Cup, Manuel Pellegrini may swoop for Roma centre-back Mehdi Benatia instead.

Benatia sparkled in Serie A last season and although he still has four years remaining on his deal, a fee of around 30m may be enough to tempt Roma to part with one of their prized assets.

City are also close to sealing a deal for one of his Porto team-mates, defensive midfielder Fernando. The Brazilian, who was another of Pellegrini's winter targets, would cost an initial fee of around 16m.

While his arrival would add to the number of players who can play as defensive midfielders, the club remain keen to retain the services of Javi Garcia who enjoyed a strong end to his second season in English football.

City's remaining transfer dilemma is finding a suitable right-back to provide cover for Pablo Zabaleta. Bacary Sagna's age and experience have seen him earmarked as the perfect candidate and the fact he is available as a free transfer makes him doubly attractive with UEFA imposing a restricted 49m transfer kitty following FFP breaches.

Sagna, who has spent the last seven years with Arsenal, is keen to sort out his future before the World Cup. That fits in with City's transfer strategy and a deal could be agreed by the end of this month.

Meanwhile, Manchester City's director of football Txiki Begiristain is planning to fly out to the World Cup to offer support to all the club's players who're involved in the latter stages of the tournament.

But the Begiristain's most crucial role could be to convince Yaya Toure that his future remains at the Etihad Stadium.