As the January transfer window opens, all eyes will be on Manchester City. Having missed out on the Champions league spot last season, it was expected that Manchester City would bring in more high profile players during the summer transfer window; and they did not disappoint. But halfway through the season, a look at the Premier League table makes good reading for any Manchester City fan; second place in the League table at the start of new year is more than what they would have wished for. City possess the second best defensive record in the Premier League, having conceded just 16 goals. In attack they have scored 32 goals, but the fact that Carlos Tevez has scored 12 and has 5 assists to his name shows their dependency on the Argentinian. With the limitless transfer kitty that Sheik Mansour is set to provide Roberto Mancini, he can buy whoever he wants to. It’s however a cliché that a host of high profile footballers will be linked to the Eastland outfit. Big-money transfer’s are very rare in the January transfer window, but nonetheless for City, it’s a different case in the last two years.

The fans show their love for their owners.

Previous January signings

Wayne Bridge
Left-back Wayne Bridge was the club’s first January signing in 2009, arriving from Chelsea for about £10m. His refusal to shake hands with John Terry during a match against Chelsea last season remains his most talked about moment in a City shirt. Injuries and the subsequent arrival of Alexander Kolarov has hampered his place in the City starting 11.

Craig Bellamy
Bellamy was signed by Mark Hughes from West Ham for a fee believed to be in the region of £14m. However, the arrival of more forwards in the summer of 2010 unsettled him, and he was loaned out to Championship side Cardiff City, where he was made the captain on his debut.

Nigel De Jong
De Jong joined City on 21st January 2009 from German club Hamburg for an undisclosed fee. He has been a rock at the heart of City’s midfield.

Shay Given
Given ended his eleven-year association with Newcastle United, as he joined the ‘City revolution’ on 1st February 2009. He was their Number one for the entire 2009-10 season, but lost his place to Joe Hart thereafter.

Patrick Vieira
Vieira returned to England to further his ambitions of playing in a fourth World Cup. Jose Mourinho (then Inter Milan coach) decided to sell Vieira for an undisclosed amount, and City pounced on the ex-French international. He has become more of a fringe player for the superfluous City squad.

Adam Johnson
Johnson was a deadline day signing last year from Middlesbrough, and the Englishman is well on his way to justify his price tag of £7m. Regarded as one of the brightest English talents, Johnson showcased his brilliance on his first start for City, earning a man of the match performance.

Players rumoured in at Manchester City FC

Edin Dzeko (from Wolsburg)
City`s main target this window has been the Bosnian international Dzeko, and it is believed that they are aiming to complete a €35m deal for the Wolfsburg striker. At 6ft 4ins, Dzeko`s aerial prowess might add a new dimension to the City attack.
THT Verdict: High

The Bosnian is apparently very close to a move to Manchester.

Fernando Torres (from Liverpool)
City continue to monitor Fernando Torres’ situation at Liverpool and believe the Spaniard to be a realistic target, should they fail to land Dzeko.
THT Verdict: Unlikely

Gary Cahill (from Bolton Wanderers)
Bolton`s Gary Cahill has attracted interest from almost all the major clubs in England, including Arsenal and Chelsea. City are also closely monitoring his situation, and might make a bid for him if Lescott decides to move on.
THT Verdict: Low

David Luiz (from Benfica)
The Brazillian Centre back has been one of the prized assets of Benfica, but he has been criticised for his performances lately. A move out of Portugal looks likely, if City decides to make a bid for him.
THT Verdict: Medium

Many teams were after the Brazilian but his price tag is way too much for every team, except for City!

Pepe (from Real Madrid)
Pepe has risked his exit from the Bernabeu by asking more than triple of what he is earning currently. City are keeping an eye on the Portuguese, and looks like they are the only club who can afford his wage demands.
THT Verdict:
Low

Players rumoured out of Manchester City FC

Roque Santa Cruz
Likely Destination: Wolfsburg, Everton, Fulham, Lazio
Out of favour at the Eastlands, but still capable of scoring goals if he gets regular starts. Santa Cruz is desperate to get a permanent deal, and has snubbed a loan deal to Lazio. A ‘Santa Cruz plus cash’ offer is also being offered to Wolfsburg in order to land Dzeko. Everton & Fulham are also monitoring the Paraguayan international closely.
THT Verdict: High

Emmanuel Adebayor
Likely Destination: Spurs, Juventus, Aston Villa.
City are trying to get the former Arsenal striker out of the club, but they would rather avoid selling him to any Premier League rival. Juventus are the front runners  to land the Togo hitman, but Spurs are also very keen on him.
THT Verdict:
Medium

Mario Balotelli
Likely Destination: AC Milan
Balotelli has failed to adapt to England, and Mancini has declared that the Italian hitman is ‘homesick’. A return to Italy is on the cards, with AC Milan the likely destination.
THT Verdict: Unlikely

Wayne Bridge
Likely Destination: Liverpool, WestHam United, Aston Villa
With the arrival of Alexander Kolarav , Bridge has seen very little playing time on the pitch. But he remains an integral part of Mancini’s plans, and City has rejected a loan bid for him from West Ham.
THT Verdict: Low

Shaun Wright-Phillips
Likely Destination: Wigan, West Bromich Albion, West Ham, Blackburn
City have shown no interest in loaning out the ex-Chelsea man, even though he is surplus to requirements. Wright-Phillips has turned down an offer to extend his £60,000-a-week contract at Eastlands.
THT Verdict:
Medium

THT Final Transfer Verdict

The Carlos Tevez saga hasn`t helped the club to one bit; add to that the unsettled Mario Balotelli, but City still have the best Premier League squad. Adebayor and Santa Cruz look to be on their way out. We at TheHardTackle expect City to add a new forward to their ranks in the transfer window. They need to have a good back-up for Tevez, as the goals tend to get dried up in his absence.

– Prithwish Deb