Roberto Mancini has yet to take up his position in the Manchester City hot-seat. Nevertheless, this has not stopped the fourth estate from going into overdrive on all possible combinations and permutations on how he will spend Manchester Cityâ€™s billions in the January transfer window.
The Daily Telegraph claims that The Citizens will turn their attention to Inter Milan and Brazilâ€™s right back Maicon Douglas.
With Micah Richards struggling and Pablo Zabletta only regarded as cover, the right-back position is a problem for City. They may also look to improve the other flank, although Lescott, when fit, could move over if Mancini does not rate Wayne Bridge, who has struggled since his move from Chelsea.
The Manchester City target, began his career with Cruzeiro and in the space of two seasons he had won the league and the Copa do Brasil. With his reputation rapidly blossoming, Manchester United looked to sign Maicon back in 2004 however due to his lack of international appearances the application for a work permit was rejected. Unitedâ€™s loss was AS Monacoâ€™s gain, and at the end of 2004 Maicon was snapped up by the Ligue 1 side.
In France Maiconâ€™s career continued on its upward trajectory and after just two seasons he was snapped up by the Nerazurri on a five year contract. And it was in then mangers Roberto Manciniâ€™s side that the Brazilian really shone where, after a slow beginning, Maicon adapted well to the rigors of Serie A.
Battling the typical stereotypes of being a Brazilian full-back who is weak at defending, Maicon went about working on his weaknesses in Italy. He utilises his strength when defending to make it difficult for opposing players to beat him (he is 6ft Â½ inches) and he is strong in the tackle. His stamina, speed, and skill also enable him to be a danger going forward – a worthy successor to Cafu in the international arena.
However, his temperament has been called into doubt. In 2007, he was punished by UEFA for brawling with Valenciaâ€™s David Navarro for brawling in the Champions League with a 6 match ban which was later reduced to 3 games (watch here).
The Italian has identified Manchester City’s porous defence as being in particular need of reinforcement and as with practically all foreign managers their first port of call is in their home market and the players they have worked with before.
Chelsea were linked with the Brazilianâ€™s signature during the last transfer window but Inter and Massimo Moratti are not in the business of happily selling their â€œtopâ€ players. Furthermore, it is unlikely that Mourinho will let an â€œuntouchableâ€ leave.
For Manchester City to have any chance of success of acquiring Maicon, Mancini will have to make a bid in the Â£30-35 million bracket. Even if such a bid is tabled we highly doubt he will move to Manchester City.
Video evidence of how Maicon performed during the 2008/2009 season can be seen here.