Manchester City could cash in on Carlos Tevez and Samir Nasri in the summer, with AS Monaco rumoured to be interested in the players. Goal.com reports a £35m swoop from the French Ligue Two leaders, who will likely gain promotion to the top flight for next season. The 2004 Champions League finalists hope to compete with Paris Saint German next year and will require considerable squad reinforcements, both in terms of quantity and quality, to do so.
City may be tempted to sell the pair as part of their planned summer clear-out. Tevez and Nasri are among a host of players rumoured to be on the way out of Manchester. The list reportedly includes Edin Dzeko, Joleon Lescott (linked with a return to Everton), Scott Sinclair, Alexandar Kolarov and Brazilian full-back Maicon, who was signed only last summer.
Argentine international Tevez has already hinted he may not renew his contract with City. The 29-year-old said: "I've got a year left on my contract at Manchester City and they want me to sign for two more seasons. I would prefer to return home..."
Of course, home and Monte Carlo are not the same but if the French club can match his reported £200,000 per week wages, he may be persuaded to sign one last contract in Europe.
From a purely financial perspective, Monaco are one of the few clubs in Europe who will be able to afford the transfer fees and player salaries for Tevez and Nasri, neither of whom will come cheap. The club were relegated from the top division of French club football in 2011 and are now owned by Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev.
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich's compatriot will hope to do with Monaco what the former has with the west London club and return them to the summit of European competition. Encouraging progress has been made with promotion looking likely; Monaco are two points above second-place Nantes in the standings. There are 14 games left in the season.
Rybolovlev's ambitions don't stop at signing high-profile players. The French outfit reportedly even tried to sign Roberto Mancini from the Premier League champions in November, amidst uncertainty over his place at City.
Meanwhile, City are rumoured to be scouring some of Europe's top players. Napoli front man Edinson Cavani and his Uruguayan strike partner Luis Suarez are believed to head the champions' wish-list, with stories of interest in Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane and Brazilian sensation Neymar also doing the rounds.
City will likely spend big in the forthcoming summer market, as the Etihad club looks to get back to winning ways. This has been, by and large, a disappointing campaign for Mancini and his men... one epitomised by Saturday's defeat at Southampton.
And it has not helped that City have been dumped from the Champions League group stages for the second year in a row. In fact, this season the club failed to even qualify for the knock-out rounds of the UEFA Europa League, finishing fourth and last in their group.
The defeat to Southampton means City could, potentially, finish this round of games 12 points behind fierce rivals and Premier League leaders Manchester United. While the gap is theoretically far from impossible to overcome (particularly given United's hiccups at this stage last year), realistically it leaves City with only the FA Cup to play for this season. They face Leeds United in the fifth round.