By Greg Stobart
Manchester City have held initial talks over a move for Paris Saint-Germain star Zlatan Ibrahimovic should they miss out on first choice striker Edinson Cavani in the summer transfer window.
City director of football Txiki Begiristain has recently held talks with super-agent Mino Raiola, who represents Ibrahimovic and has publicly suggested the Swede may leave PSG at the end of the season.
Juventus and AC Milan are also monitoring Ibrahimovic’s situation in the French capital but a transfer away from PSG this summer appears unlikely, given his enormous €13.6 million-a-year salary.
Roberto Mancini, the City manager, has tried to sign Ibrahimovic in the past having worked with him at Inter, and regards the 31-year-old as one of the most complete strikers in the world.
Begiristain has a close relationship with Raiola and is also a huge fan of Ibrahimovic, whose move from Inter to Barcelona he brokered in 2009.
But Mancini’s own position is under threat as Begiristain and chief executive Ferran Soriano oversee a root-and-branch review of the club.
City are looking to complete their transfer business early this summer and are chasing a number of high profile targets, with €59m-rated Napoli forward Cavani their first choice.
PSG have also been strongly linked with the Uruguayan, who has scored 32 goals this season and appears likely to leave Napoli this summer, although no formal offers have yet been made to the Serie A club.
But PSG sporting director Leonardo insisted on Wednesday that Cavani was not a target while adding he was “100 per cent” sure that Ibrahimovic, who has scored 32 goals in all competitions since joining from Milan last summer, would stay at the Parc de Princes.
City are determined to respond next season after losing out on the Premier League title to rivals Manchester United, and Begiristain and Mancini have prioritised signing a top class striker.
Atletico Madrid forward Radamel Falcao remains a target, although the Colombian has expressed a preference for Chelsea should he move to the Premier League.