Speculation surrounding Alvaro Negredo’s Manchester City future has been simmering in the rumour mill kitchen all summer long, with portions of gossip being ladled out at regular intervals.
The latest helping dictates that none other than Real Madrid would like to take him off the Citizens’ well-manicured hands as a replacement for namesake Morata.
Negredo found himself on the fringes in the latter stages of his first season at the Etihad, owing largely to a misplacement of form that occurred at around the same time Edin Dzeko found some down the back of the settee.
The Bosnian bulldozer fired Manuel Pellegrini’s men to a second Premier League crown as his Spanish comprade was compelled to spectate, but their chances of stringing consecutive top-tier titles together would be better with him than without.
Here’s why the side rated 21/10 to top the pile after 38 games would be mental to relinquish the man they call the Beast:
His first half-season in England was more profitable than incumbent line-leader Dzeko.
Negredo’s Balkan counterpart scored just two goals in his first 15 English matches, four short of the tally the former Sevilla man mustered in that timeframe.
Despite not scoring since the end of January, he finished the campaign 22 goals to the good and this effortless adaptation from life in La Liga indicates the desertion of his scoring touch is only temporary.
Manuel Pellegrini’s midfield recalibration means they’ll utilise the system in which he flourished most last term more frequently.
With Fernando and Fernandinho set to reinforce the midfield wall, Yaya Toure is likely to move into an advanced berth behind a solo-striker.
This is a role in which Negredo revelled during his time at Sevilla and he earned his highest whoscored.com rating (7.5) in the games in which he spearheaded by himself.
If Real Madrid reckon he’s good enough, surely that’s a testament to his talent.
A three-month goal-drought (the bulk of which time he spent on the bench) doesn’t make a bad player and if the European champions believe the Beast could bolster their lethal attacking line then it’s surely worth affording him another season.