Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini is hoping to lure Athletic Bilbao duo Javi Martinez and Fernando Llorente after missing out on his priority targets a Footy Bunker source tells us.
Mancini was hoping to have concluded the transfer of Robin Van Persie by the start of the new season after the Arsenal misfit confirmed last week that he wouldn’t be signing a new deal at the Emirates Stadium with a year left on his current contract.
However Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is reluctant to sell to a Premier League rival whilst Van Persie is said to favour a move abroad after eight injury-hit years in England.
He will also miss out on Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Luka Modric as the Croatian wants to join Spanish champions Real Madrid and chairman Daniel Levy is unwilling to business with other clubs in the top-flight.
Having missed out on Modric and Van Persie the 47-year-old Italian was hoping to swoop for AC Milan pair Zlatan Ibrahimovich and Thiago Silva but they’re now on the verge of joining mega-rich Paris Saint Germain in a €51 million deal.
There are now suggestions that Mancini will now turn his attentions back to striker Llorente as desperately tries to bolster his attack ahead of their maiden title defence.
The 27-year-old enjoyed another prolific campaign at the San Mames scoring 30 times in 53 games and City are hoping to take advantage of the rumoured £29m buy-out clause in his contract.
Mancini sees Llorente as the perfect partner for top scorer Sergio Aguero but must offload Emmanuel Adebayor and Edin Dzeko before he can move for the Spain international.
He’s also thought to be mulling over a bid for 23-year-old defensive midfielder Martinez but convincing him to leave Bilbao could turn out to be a lost cause after he rebuffed the overtures of Barcelona earlier this summer.