By Wayne Veysey | UK Chief Correspondent
Manchester City are preparing to make a second move in January to sign €30 million-rated Stevan Jovetic from Fiorentina.
As exclusively revealed by Goal.com, City tried to capture the 22-year-old forward in the last weeks of the August window but the Serie A club managed to hang on to their prize asset.
It is understood that Fiorentina have come to an agreement with Jovetic that he can be sold next year, although this is most likely to be at the end of the season.
However, City have been closely monitoring the player in the new campaign, with Patrick Vieira, the club’s football development executive, among the spectators as Jovetic figured in Fiorentina’s 2-1 defeat by Inter last Sunday.
The Premier League champions are ready to test the water with a fresh bid in the January window for a player who has long been regarded as one of the most exciting talents in Europe.
But they face strong competition from Juventus, who had a bid of £15.7 million (€20m) for the versatile forward rejected last summer.
Nicknamed ‘JoJo’, Jovetic has started this season in impressive form, scoring four goals in his first six league games.
City pursued the Montenegro international as part of a double swoop also including Serbian defender Matija Nastasic, who they secured on deadline day for €15m.
The champions indicated in discussions with Fiorentina that they were willing to meet their €30m valuation of Jovetic, only for the price tag to be increased to €35m as the Italian club moved the goalposts.
Sources have said that senior Fiorentina officials feared a huge backlash from supporters if they also sanctioned the sale of the club’s most popular player.
“The fact that he has stayed is the most beautiful thing. He has remained and is also happy,” Fiorentina general manager Sandro Mencucci said when the window shut. “Was he close to leaving? There were requests but it was very good of my president to convince him to stay.”
It is understood that Jovetic agreed to remain in Florence for another season on the proviso that he can leave next year.
The player himself has admitted his future is up in the air. “When City came forward, I’d already decided to stay in Florence,” he said last month. “I stopped negotiations. Am I still happy? I’ve no regrets. But my future was in the balance.”
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