Manchester City will begin life under Manuel Pellegrini with a bid for Sevilla striker Alvaro Negredo, according to the Mirror. The Spain international is a Real Madrid youth product but never managed to convince Santiago Bernabeu officials of his talent.
He moved to the Andalusian giants in 2009 and has flourished at the Sanchez Pizjuan, scoring 70 goals in 116 La Liga starts. A superb 2012/13 season saw him net 31 times in 40 starts in the league and Spanish Cup, earning interest from a number of Premier League sides, including champions Manchester United and north London rivals Tottenham and Arsenal.
Speaking in June, Sevilla president Jose Maria del Nido confirmed the 27-year-old was looking to leave this summer and added that he wanted Champions League football, something City can provide.
"Negredo wants to leave, and that forces us into the bargain. Leg is a negotiation, and has three. And I say, and I have experience in this, it's not good to stay a player who is want to go," the president told his club's television channel.
At the time, del Nido also revealed two offers had been tabled for his star, with one from domestic rivals Atlético Madrid and the second from an unidentified club.
If the second club is City, Pellegrini may have to pay full value to land their target, with Sevilla reportedly keen to enforce the reported £18m release clause in his contract. Sky Sports believes the Spaniards have already rejected a £14.5m approach from West Ham United.
However, City's new Chilean boss should be aware Tottenham have monitored Negredo in the past and the Mail Online reported, in January, on the possibility of a £15m deal to bring the player to White Hart Lane.
Spurs and Andre Villas-Boas are still in the market for a top-class striker and although they are expected to close on Barcelona forward David Villa soon, Negredo may yet emerge as a viable back-up.
Sevilla were struggling financially until early in June, when they sold Spain international Jesus Navas to City for a reported £15m. Additional funds were raised through the sale of left-back Antonio Luna (to Aston Villa for an undisclosed fee) and Spain U21 star Luis Alberto (to Liverpool for £6.8m).
This means the Spaniards will be in no immediate rush to cash in on Negredo. And given he is contracted to them until 2017 City (and possibly Spurs) may have a lot of negotiating to do.