With a first Premier League title now clinched, Manchester City are already looking at ways to strengthen their side, and attempt to usher in a new era of dominance in Manchester.
Roberto Mancini appears keen to bolster his attacking options to begin with, and after declaring an interest in Arsenal captain Robin Van Persie, he is now in pursuit of two other leading European strikers.
The first of these is imposing Athletic Bilbao frontman Fernando Llorente, whose performances this season have led to calls for his inclusion in Spain’s starting lineup.
Llorente is a player in a similar mould to Edin Dzeko, who is expected to move on from City this summer, so the Spaniard could be an ideal replacement for the giant Bosnian.
Spanish newspaper AS is reporting that City officials have already met with Llorente’s agent, and made clear their desire to bring the 27-year-old to Eastlands.
City’s financial might means they will have no trouble in meeting the £28.7million release clause in Llorente’s current contract, and with little left to negotiate with Bilbao, a deal could be completed sooner rather than later.
Meanwhile, City have also expressed a serious interest in technical forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who recently became the first player to win the Serie A golden boot award with two different clubs.
Mancini is a huge fan of the 30-year-old Swedish international, having previously paid £22million to bring him to Inter Milan back in 2006, and he is now ready to offer the player an astronomical wage packet to rekindle their relationship at Eastlands.
Ibrahimovic would become quite easily the Premier League’s best-paid player should he sign for a reported £25million, with the former Barcelona man currently mulling over a £300,000 per week deal.
The AC Milan forward would also receive lucrative image rights and a huge signing on fee were he to commit to City, and such a staggering financial package must be tempting for a player now past 30.