Jumat, 31 Agustus 2012

Nastasic signs, Savic departs

Nastasic: Completed City switch

The 19-year-old joins the Premier League champions in a deal which also sees Montenegro international Stefan Savic moving in the opposite direction.

Nastasic is the fourth player to join City on a hectic final day of the summer transfer window.

Champions City chase top trio

Garcia: Wanted by Man City

Scott Sinclair's move from Swansea City is already done and will be officially announced on Friday.

But the Premier League champions are also still working on deals to bring in Fiorentina's Matija Nastasic, Maicon from Inter Milan and Javi Garcia of Benfica.

The deal for Nastasic is close and will see Stefan Savic move to Florence in the opposite direction.

Likewise, Maicon's move looks very close with personal terms believed to have been agreed and the Brazilian is due to undergo a medical at City's Carrington training HQ.

But the biggest deal will be for Benfica midfielder Garcia - who City have been tracking for the past few weeks.

The Spaniard is known to be keen on completing a move to the Etihad Stadium, and City will be paying more than 20million for the Spain international.

Nigel de Jong's move to AC Milan has freed up space in the squad for Roberto Mancini to add another midfielder - with Garcia his top target.

Kamis, 30 Agustus 2012

Keeper Wright having City medical

Wright: Having City medical

The Premier League champions have Joe Hart as their undisputed number one and giant Romanian Costel Pantilimon to provide back-up.

But it appears Roberto Mancini would like additional cover between the posts and the experienced Wright is believed by Sky Sports to be close to finalising a deal.

The 34-year-old is understood to be having a medical at the Etihad Stadium and could put pen to paper in the next couple of days.

Wright left Preston in July just weeks after signing a one-year contract with the League One club, having been released by Ipswich at the end of last season.

Wright had also started his career with Ipswich before going on to play for a host of clubs including Everton and Arsenal, while he was capped twice by England at international level.

Rabu, 29 Agustus 2012

Champion quartet could face off

Champions League: Draw takes place on Thursday

UEFA's seeding system, based on the club's co-efficients, has thrown up the possibility of the champions of the four strongest nations all having to play each other in the group phase.

City will be the only English club not among the top seeds for Thursday's draw - despite being domestic champions, Roberto Mancini's side still have a relatively low UEFA co-efficient, meaning they will be among the pot of eight second seeds while European champions Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United are in the pot of eight top seeds.

That means City could be drawn in the same group as European powerhouses such as Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, which would make the task of qualifying for the knockout stages that much harder.

There are potentially dangerous opponents lurking among the third and fourth seeds too.

The worst-case scenario would see the Premier League champions having to face Spanish champions Real, Italian champions Juventus and Ge rman Bundesliga winners Borussia Dortmund.

City suffered from being ranked as third seeds last season when they ended up third in a group containing Bayern, Napoli and Villarreal.

Porto are the lowest-ranked club among the top seeds, and City would hope to be in their group and avoid the bigger guns among the third and fourth seeds.

But whatever the outcome of the draw, Manchester United's experiences of last season stand as a warning about anyone expecting an easy ride. United's group last season appeared the easiest on paper, yet Sir Alex Ferguson's men failed to qualify for the knock-out stages.

The financial rewards from progressing into the latter stages are significant - Chelsea's share of TV and prize money was 60million euros (47.5m) from going on to win the competition, while City's was 26million euros (20m).

Tomorrow's draw will see the 32 clubs drawn into four groups - each group will have one top seed, one second seed, one third seed and one fourth seed.

The four clubs in each group will play each other home and away with the top two progressing to the knockout stage of the tournament, while the third-placed side goes into the knockout stage of the Europa League.

None of the Premier League sides can be drawn in a group with another English club, but there could be British opposition if, as looks likely, Celtic progress against Helsingborg from Sweden on Wednesday night.

Likely seed pots:

Pot One: Chelsea, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Arsenal, Porto, AC Milan.

Pot Two: Valencia, Benfica, Shakhtar Donetsk, Zenit St Petersburg, Schalke, Manchester City, Braga, Dynamo Kiev*.

Pot Three: Olympiakos, Ajax, Anderlecht, Juventus, FC Copenhagen*, Spartak Moscow*, Paris Saint-Germain, Galatasaray.

Pot Four: Celtic*, Borussia Dortmund, BATE Borisov, Dinamo Zagreb, CFR Cluj*, Malaga, Montpellier, FC Nordsjaelland.

* = still to qualify

Minggu, 26 Agustus 2012

City set to seal Sinclair deal

Sinclair: On cusp of joining champions City

Sinclair has made no secret of his desire to join City, with the two clubs having been locked in negotiations over the past week.

It would now appear a deal has been done to take the player to the City of Manchester Stadium, with any loose ends to be tied up on Tuesday after the Bank Holiday.

Sinclair, 23, was left out of the Swansea squad that secured a 3-0 win over West Ham on Saturday after manager Michael Laudrup claimed the player was not in the right frame of mind to figure.

City boss Roberto Mancini has been vocal in his desire to add to his squad having so far over the summer only brought in Jack Rodwell from Everton.

Adam Johnson's switch to Sunderland at the back end of last week seems to have facilitated Sinclair's move to Manchester.

Sabtu, 25 Agustus 2012

Black Cats complete Johnson deal

Johnson: Completed Sunderland move

The England international has signed a four-year contract after the two clubs agreed an undisclosed fee.

O'Neill has been on the Easington-born midfielder's trail for several weeks after it became apparent that his days at the Etihad Stadium were drawing to a close, and his arrival on Wearside just hours after Wolves striker Steven Fletcher capped a good day for the Ulsterman.

A delighted O'Neill said: "Adding quality players to the squad has been our main aim this summer and Adam certainly fits that bill.

"He has terrific ability, great delivery and I'm sure he is a player who will excite our fans. I couldn't be more delighted to have him at the football club.''

Johnson, 25, is a product of Middlesbrough's Academy and has won 12 full England caps to date.

However, he missed out on a trip to Euro 2012 and will hope his latest move could help to revive his international career.

Johnson played 96 times for first club Middlesbrou gh, scoring 13 goals, before he moved on to City in 2010.

But after 73 games, which produced 11 goals, he has now moved to Sunderland.

Jumat, 24 Agustus 2012

Mancini expects tough Anfield test

Roberto Mancini: Ready for Anfield test

Mancini's side began the defence of their Premier League crown with a hard-fought 3-2 win over the promoted Sainst last weekend.

City needed to come from behind to ensure a winning start after conceding twice in the second half at the Etihad Stadium.

It was far from the 4-0 stroll against Swansea with which City began last season and Mancini is not expecting things to get any easier at Anfield.

"We always play a tough match in the second game," said the Italian, whose side held off Bolton 3-2 in their second outing last term. "Liverpool will be a very strong game."

Liverpool caused City problems last term as the sides fought out a 1-1 league draw at Anfield before the Merseysiders beat Mancini's men in the League Cup semi-finals.

The Reds have opened their campaign badly, crashing 3-0 at West Brom in new manager Brendan Rodgers' first league game in charge, but Mancini feels his own men must step up.

"We played a bad game, we were not a team," he said of the Southampton match.

"We were 10 players that tried to score. We showed our character but we didn't play as a team.

"This could be normal in the first game but if we want to win, we have to play as a team."

City will be without last season's top scorer Sergio Aguero, who suffered a knee injury early in the opening win but is not likely to be missing as long as first feared.

In his absence fellow Argentinian Carlos Tevez, rejuvenated after last season's problems, is likely to continue to lead the line.

Midfield talisman Yaya Toure is confident City can cope with the challenges facing them this season.

The Ivory Coast international said: "The Premier league is not easy, it is going to be very tough this year.

"But I have full confidence in my team-mates, we always fight and try to win games."

Rabu, 22 Agustus 2012

I'm hungry for goals, warns Ade

Adebayor: Signs for Spurs

Manchester City and Adebayor came to an agreement on the terms of a pay-off this afternoon, allowing the Togo striker to complete his permanent move to White Hart Lane for a reported fee of 5million.

The 28-year-old's arrival is a huge boost to Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas, who until today had only one recognised out and out striker in Jermain Defoe.

Despite spending three and a half years at bitter rivals Arsenal, Adebayor became a fans' favourite at Tottenham last season, mainly because he scored 18 goals and struck up a sound understanding with Rafael van der Vaart while on loan at the London club.

The Togo hitman vowed to continue his goal-scoring spree at the club today after sealing his return to Spurs.

"I'm back!!!! Tottenham here I come!! I'm hungry for goals...Get ready," Adebayor tweeted.

"I am pleased to be signing for Spurs on a permanent basis after finally agreeing my departure with Manchester City," he added later on S purs' website. "It may have taken longer than expected but I am delighted to be back at Tottenham Hotspur.

"I really enjoyed my time here last season and I am hoping we can achieve great things together again."

Adebayor spent three years at City but fell out of favour upon Robert Mancini's appointment as manager and spent the last year and a half on loan at Real Madrid and Spurs.

With 10 days to go until the close of the transfer window, Villas-Boas is starting to put the finishing touches to the squad he wants to win a trophy this season.

Spurs sold out-of-favour centre-back Sebastien Bassong to Norwich today and it may not be long before another Tottenham defender, Michael Dawson, leaves the club after QPR made a bid for the England international.

Although he is the club's captain, Dawson was left out of the squad that travelled to Newcastle at the weekend, hinting that the centre-back may be surplus to requirements under Villas-Boas.

There is likely to be further transfer activity at White Hart Lane before the window shuts.

Tom Huddlestone has been linked with a loan move to Stoke and fellow squad players David Bentley and Giovani Dos Santos may depart.

Tottenham also remain in talks with Real Madrid over the protracted sale of Luka Modric.

Villas-Boas will also be looking to add to Tottenham's ranks, with Manchester City midfielder Adam Johnson the latest player to be linked with the north London outfit.

Guidetti to get fresh City deal

Guidetti: Ready to sign City deal

The highly-rated Sweden international, 20, only signed his previous deal last summer, when he agreed a three-year deal after nearly leaving the club.

Guidetti has only ever played one League Cup match for City after joining their youth set-up in 2008.

After penning his last deal, he was sent on loan to Feyenoord where he enjoyed a hugely successful spell, scoring 20 goals.

Now he is in talks to sign a new deal with City, whilst a host of admirers battle for his signature.

Feyenoord would like him back, but there are clubs in England, France, Spain, Germany and Italy all keen to land him.

North-East duo Sunderland and Newcastle are understood to be amongst the clubs interested in taking him.

Guidetti's representative claims going back to Holland is a consideration, telling Voetbal International: "He liked his stay at Feyenoord and enjoyed putting in strong performances for them.

"Joining them again is definitely an optio n, but there are more possibilities, we are going to explore all options without rushing and we will surely come to a decision before the transfer window ends at the end of the month."

The Dutch club, however, have less hope of seeing the striker again.

"At the last moment, anything can happen but we are not assuming the return of John is realistic," Feyenoord technical director Martin van Geel said. "We do not know what City want - and besides, he needs time to recover from his injury."

City's Aguero out for a month

Aguero: Fell awkwardly against Southampton

There had been fears the Argentinian had suffered major ligament damage when he fell awkwardly early in the 3-2 season-opening win on Sunday.

But a scan has found no major damage, and City are now optimistic the 24-year-old will be back in contention for the trip to Stoke on September 15.

"I don't think Sergio will be out for long and we are hoping he will be back after the international break which is obviously fantastic news for him and for us," manager Roberto Mancini told the club's website.

"We were very worried a couple of days ago because we feared he could be out for six months or maybe even more which would have been very bad news."