London - Manchester City’s difficult summer in the transfer market continued last night when negotiations for Swansea winger Scott Sinclair hit a hitch.
City thought they were close to agreeing a £6.2million deal for Sinclair on Saturday and were hopeful of concluding their second incoming transfer of the summer by the middle of this week.
But negotiations hit the buffers after the Welsh club hiked up the asking price at the last minute.
On Tuesday night Sinclair, 23, was in limbo as City and Swansea were locked in a stand-off with neither club willing to make the next move.
And some peculiar comments from Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins have not helped matters.
‘I would have thought if they really wanted to sign Scott Sinclair they would have dealt with it a little bit better than they have,’ said Jenkins.
‘It has dragged on too long and I hope one way or another it will be concluded in the next couple of days. What has been put out about Scott Sinclair is not true.
‘I don’t want to get into a war of words with Manchester City, but I find it quite unprofessional, really.
‘I don’t know who is putting these stories out, but there’s nothing at all agreed with Manchester City. No deal has been agreed as yet.’
City will be furious at Jenkins’ comments, particularly as they come at a time when they thought they were making progress with a deal.
Having only managed to sign Jack Rodwell from Everton so far this summer, Mancini has earmarked Sinclair for a place on the substitutes bench.
The City manager, though, does need a wide man in before Friday as the club have sold England winger Adam Johnson to Sunderland. This latest hitch will infuriate Mancini, though it is understood that he has urged his club’s football administrator Brian Marwood not to go beyond £6.5m for Sinclair (left).
This means Swansea chairman Jenkins is now running the risk of the deal collapsing altogether.
Yesterday City were inching forward with two other deals, one for Fiorentina central defender Matija Nastasic and another for Benfica midfielder Javi Garcia. Benfica’s official stance is that they will not sell for less than the player’s £23.8m buy-out clause. However, the feeling in Portugal is that they may do a deal for less than that amount.
Neither transfers are yet complete and fees have not been agreed with the two clubs involved.
Marwood is hopeful of progress, however, and has reassured Mancini that there will be incoming players by Friday.
City have been talking to Fiorentina about Nastasic for weeks and Mancini hopes that, if he signs, he can become a long-term replacement for Joleon Lescott.
England central defender Lescott was influential for City last season.
It is understood the 30-year-old still has a future at City as part of Mancini’s squad, but that the Italian does have reservations about the former Everton man’s ability when he is in possession of the ball.
This is one of the reasons why Mancini went after Liverpool’s Denmark centre half Daniel Agger.
Lescott only has two years left on his current contract at the Etihad Stadium and is hopeful that talks will open sooner rather than later about an extension.
The fact that he was left out of City’s team for the game at Liverpool at the weekend may have set some alarm bells ringing and it will be interesting to see how the season pans out if and when Mancini does manage to add a new central defender.