Roberto Mancini’s recent complaints about Manchester City’s lack of transfer activity this summer have achieved the desired response, with the Community Shield winners confirming on Sunday evening that they have finalised a deal for Everton’s Jack Rodwell.
The midfielder, who has two England caps and will have a chance to make his third international appearance in the friendly against Italy on Wednesday, has been a long-term target for almost every top club, including Manchester United.
However, Everton revealed on their official website on Sunday lunchtime that they had accepted an offer from the Premier League champions – though to be somewhere in the region of £15 million – and that he successfully underwent a medical within hours.
The 21-year-old’s arrival will presumably signal the end of Nigel de Jong’s three-and-a-half year stay at the Etihad Stadium.
The Dutch international was afforded only 11 Premier League starts last season as Mancini preferred to set up his midfield in a more adventurous fashion and has attracted plenty of overseas interest, most notably from Italian giants Inter.
Rodwell won’t be sure of a starting place at the 6/5 title frontrunners, who are also 6/1 third favourites to win the Champions League, but is likely viewed as a long-term replacement for Gareth Barry in one of the two deeper midfield roles.
Many expected Manchester City’s priority to be strengthening up front in this transfer window given links to Arsenal striker Robin van Persie and uncertainty over the Carlos Tevez, Mario Balotelli and Edin Dzeko’s futures at various stages in 2012.
Mancini has indicated otherwise though, pointing to the 93 Premier League goals scored in 2011/12 as evidence that they aren’t lacking in that department.
Instead, it appears to be in the middle of the park and the centre of defence – where Liverpool’s Daniel Agger is being pursued – that they have decided to focus on.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.