It was little more than a month ago that West Ham United had seen their tentative £14.5 million opening offer for Sevilla striker Alvaro Negredo knocked back, with the Spanish outfit not deeming the offer worthy.

Fast forward a month, and it is Manchester City who appear to be in pole position to secure the services of the Spanish forward for a mammoth £22 million, which is just five million less than the fee paid to Wolfsburg for Edin Dzeko.

According to The Guardian, Sevilla president José María del Nido has denied that there has been any bid for Negredo from Manchester City as yet, with the only offer coming from La Liga rivals, Atletico Madrid.

"Manchester City have not made any offer for him . . . and the offer from Atletico was turned down 11 days ago," said Del Nido.

Spanish reporters are suggesting that, whilst Negredo was initially keen on a return to the Spanish capital, the interest from Manchester City has turned his head, with England now the most likely destination for the former Real Madrid target man.

Negredo is coming off the back of the most successful campaign of his entire career, with the Sevilla forward netting an impressive 25 goals in La Liga during the 2012/13 campaign - which totalled up to 31 when his six strikes in the Copa del Rey were taken into account.

Negredo, standing at 6ft 1", is nicknamed 'La fiera de Vallecas' which is translated to 'The beast of Vallecas'. The Spanish forward is renowned for his physical attributes to power past a defender and to create a goalscoring opportunity.

Negredo would be able to adapt to the physical nature of the Premier League with little effort - he can hold up the ball and bring midfielders into attacking moves, as we saw with Negredo and Jesus Navas linking up on the right-hand side in the last four seasons at Sanchez Pizjuán.

This is a partnership that could be rekindled at Manchester City with Jesus Navas having signed on at Eastlands earlier this summer. Make no mistake however, Alvaro Negredo is not at all over-reliant on his physical skills to beat defenders - he is also very quick-footed.

A number of Manchester City supporters have expressed their unease via social media websites at their club spending such a lofty amount on a 27-year-old striker who they believe to be remarkably similar to Dzeko.

However, this is simply something they need not worry about. Negredo, whilst similar to Dzeko in size and ability, is completely different in terms of movement off the ball.

Negredo is far more pro-active than Dzeko, with the Spaniard willing to work hard and press when his team isn't in possession of the ball, and when other members of his team have the ball Negredo is always looking to make a movement that will increase his chances of getting in a position to score.

Dzeko, on the other hand, whilst you can't fault his work ethic on most occasions, struggles with the pace of the Premier League and is not given the same time to hold a position and wait for the ball to be played into him that he was afforded in the Bundesliga.

A Negredo/Dzeko partnership could well prove to be fruitful for Manchester City, with the hard work of Negredo no doubt complementing the technical ability and positioning of Dzeko.

However, with the vast amount of attacking midfielders Manchester City now have in their squad, it doesn't seem likely that Negredo and Dzeko would have too many opportunities to play together, should the Spaniard sign with Manchester City.

It must also be said that the immediate future of Dzeko is still undecided, with German media believing that Dzeko's preferred destination is Borussia Dortmund and he will only make the move to Signal Iduna Park should Robert Lewandowski leave the club.

Earlier, I mentioned the vast number of attacking midfield players Manchester City have at their disposal with David Silva, Samir Nasri and even Sergio Aguero having the ability to play in the 'false nine' position, just behind the central striker.

What is very interesting is that Negredo thrives in the lone forward position - he loves to come deep into the opponent's half of the pitch in search of the ball and is very capable of bringing midfielders into play.

Negredo forms good partnerships with smaller, technically gifted players and the idea of bringing him to the club and allowing him to forge such a partnership with Silva and Nasri must be very appealing to Txiki Begiristain.

With Manuel Pellegrini preferring a 4-2-2-2 system during his time with Malaga, utilising two holding midfield players, two attacking midfield players and two attackers, it isn't difficult to see how Negredo could fit into that system.

Silva and Nasri could be deployed as the two attacking midfielders with Navas as an alternative. Yaya Toure and Fernandinho would sit just behind them as the two very mobile holding midfielders, which could make Manchester City a really hard team to play against when they are not in possession of the ball.

With Negredo integrated into this system, Manchester City's fluid attacking play would keep its liquid movement, much more so than if Dzeko was deployed as the central striker.

With the deal for Negredo still speculation at this point, it is worth noting that a lot can change in the transfer market, but the current signs all point towards Negredo being a Manchester City player before too long. 

In my mind, it would be an astute if expensive signing, and would cover the loss felt by the departure of Carlos Tevez.

 

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