Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has turned his attention to Brazil striker Fred and Benfica’s Oscar Cardozo after personally pulling the plug on a move for Roberto Mancini’s favourite striker Edinson Cavani.
Pellegrini, who is given the final say on transfers at the club despite the role of director of football Txiki Begiristain, does not want City to break the bank for Cavani after Napoli turned down an initial bid that fell well below the Italian club’s valuation of £54million.
Premier player: Brazil’s Fred (left) is a target for Manchester City
City bound: Oscar Cardozo could be a ready replacement for Carlos Tevez
Fluminense striker Fred, who will lead his country’s attack in Sunday night’s Confederations Cup final against Spain, is now being viewed as a possible replacement for Carlos Tevez, who joined Juventus last week.
Fred, 29, scored in Brazil’s 2-2 draw against England earlier this month and also netted twice against Italy in the current World Cup warm-up event that concludes on Sunday evening.
Cardozo, Montenegro forward Stevan Jovetic and Stephan El Shaarawy, of AC Milan, have also been mentioned as replacements for Tevez as Pellegrini looks to make his mark on his new club before the start of pre-season training.
Mancini had long seen Uruguay striker Cavani as his No 1 target but he was sacked by City days after losing the FA Cup final to Wigan last month.
Pellegrini, who managed Champions League quarterfinalists Malaga last season, wants to add a striker and a centre-half to the signings already completed of Spain winger Jesus Navas and Brazil midfielder Fernandinho.
City are trying to arrange a deal for £20m Real Madrid centre back Pepe, who would form a new partnership with Vincent Kompany.
Their interest in Pepe is a further blow to current City defender Joleon Lescott, who is expected to hold talks with the club this week about his future.
Lescott, 31, needs regular firstteam football to keep his place in the England squad ahead of next summer’s World Cup in Brazil.