Zlatan Ibrahimovic can go to Manchester City – but Barcelona want Robinho, Nigel de Jong and Pablo Zabaleta

July 8th, 2010

National service: City team-mates De Jong and Robinho (right) at the World Cup (Photo: AFP/Getty Images)

Barcelona are keen on Manchester City trio Robinho, Nigel de Jong and Pablo Zabaleta as part of a potential swap deal for Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Roberto Mancini is keen to bring in a world-class striker as part of his summer spending spree and has constantly been linked with the Sweden international he got the best out of at Inter Milan.

City have other targets – such as Wolfsburg’s Edin Dzeko and Inter Milan’s Mario Balotelli – but 28-year-old Ibrahimovic could prove a tempting fall-back option.

Barca say publicly that the 6ft 5in target man is not for sale, but they have already offloaded Dmytro Chygrynskiy to Shakhtar Donetsk in a bid to ease cash flow problems, despite Pep Guardiola saying he expected the defender to stay.

Ibrahimovic’s place is under threat at the Nou Camp following the signing of David Villa from Valencia, coupled with a disappointing first season following his move from Inter Milan last summer.

Reports in Catalonia say Barca insiders are weighing up who they could take from Eastlands as part of a deal.

They have long-tracked Robinho and considered signing him in January, and now a part-exchange worth Robinho and about £15million has been mooted.

However, Nou Camp coach Pep Guardiola is said to have reservations about the 26-year-old’s temperament and could prefer other options.

Holland midfielder De Jong would be an able deputy to Sergio Busquets in the holding midfield role and could be surplus to requirements at City following Yaya Toure’s arrival.

Barca are keen on Liverpool’s Javier Mascherano to fill that position, but a £35m price tag is prohibitive and there is also competition from Inter Milan.

Incorporating Zabaleta in the deal would provide a versatile player who is highly regarded in Spain from his time at Espanyol.

The Argentine is a friend of Lionel Messi and would fill a long-standing problem of Dani Alves having no stand-out deputy at right back.

Source: Daily Mail

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