Manchester City torn between Christian Benteke and Wilfried Bony?
Manchester City, 7/4 with Coral to retain the Premier League, continue their search for a striker as the January transfer window gets into full swing.
City have struggled after injuries to star man Sergio Aguero and back up options Edin Dzeko and Stevan Jovetic revealed them to be rather threadbare up front, and are now said to have set their sights on snapping up one of Christian Benteke or Wilfried Bony.
Despite David Silva, Yaya Toure and Frank Lampard stepping up to provide goals from midfield, Manuel Pellegrini appears to be in no mood to be patient and could act quickly to bring an extra attacker to the Etihad.
As the Premier League title race gets ever tighter, with both the Citizens and Chelsea now level on points, a new recruit, or lack of one, could make all the difference.
With the Sky Blues mindful of FIFA Fair Play guidelines and set to eventually welcome back their sidelined forwards, it appears only one of Benteke or Bony may be purchased in the winter window.
So which of these two fantastic frontmen would represent the best bargain and potentially tip the title race in City’s favour?
Bony’s boss Garry Monk certainly believes the Ivorian attacker is ahead of his Belgian counterpart, stating: “I’d say Benteke probably covers more yards than Bony, but Bony’s more effective in what he does.”
The Sky Blues could fork out as much as £25m for 26-year-old Bony, who would provide pace, power and a poacher’s instinct to an already star-studded squad.
A much more dynamic option than Dzeko or injury-prone Jovetic, Bony would surely be expected to partner Aguero rather than act as mere back up.
Having notched up nine league goals this campaign and 16 last season, following a £12m move from Vitesse Arnhem, Swansea star Bony has proven he can be the prolific outlet up top that Pellegrini is looking for.
Monk is not likely to allow one of his most important players to exit mid-season, but may have no choice if rumours of a release clause are accurate.
Bony’s involvement at the African Cup on Nations could also cause problems, as the Sky Blues require a striking reinforcement immediately, and apparent interest from Chelsea may also complicate matters.
For a simpler solution, City could be set to turn to Aston Villa attacker Benteke instead. The talented 24-year-old is still struggling to return to top form following his own long injury lay-off, but has shown glimpses of his old self.
As Manchester United can attest, following the strong centre forward’s sublime strike against them recently, Benteke still has the ability to change games.
The Villans are vulnerable to bids for many of their top stars, which could see the Sky Blues, 6/1 to lift the FA Cup, prise Benteke away to bolster their title charge.