IB Times: City and Arsenal keen on Isco deal
- 22 February 2014 07:48
- Posted by @porter_mcfc
Morning Blues, and welcome to your Saturday dose of transfer gossip to savour along with your cornflakes.
Love it or loathe it, rumours abound in today’s media about the identity of next summer’s movers and shakers.
Isco is a familiar name to regular readers of this round-up, but it’s been a while since he last graced these pages - given he moved to Real Madrid in the summer.
I wasn’t expecting him back so soon, but here he is, with IB Times gathering together various sources which claim that City and Arsenal will go toe to toe in the summer to offer the Spaniard an escape route to England.
Eduardo Fernandez-Abascal writes: “Isco was already close to joining City from Malaga last summer together with his former manager Manuel Pellegrini. However, a call from Real Madrid's officials when he was set to move to the Etihad Stadium scuppered the deal and he instead decided to move to the Santiago Bernabeu.
“The Spanish giants paid £25m to secure his services but he has struggled to secure regular place at Los Blancos, and according to Marca Manchester City are ready to take advantage of his unhappiness to make a new summer bid for his services.
“Meanwhile, Metro reports that Arsenal are also in the race for the talented Spanish midfielder, as Arsene Wenger is looking for a similar player, having targeted Schalke star Julian Draxler as his main summer acquisition.”
Up to Scotland next, but never fear, whatever country we’re in, a battle with a Premier League rival is still on the cards.
This time, City are reportedly rivalling neighbours Manchester United for Celtic defender Virgil van Dijk – at least, if a report in the Daily Mail can be believed.
Oh, and Arsenal are back again….
David Kent reports: “Celtic's Virgil van Dijk finds himself in the middle of a potential summer war between Manchester City and United as the champions weigh up whether to lodge a bid for the player.
“Both clubs have had scouts watching the central defender, who has been a revelation this season.
“The 22-year-old was snapped up by the Bhoys for £2.6million from FC Groningen, and a number of clubs, including Arsenal, have been up to Scotland to monitor his progress.”
Remember, when the window does open, we’ll be the first with any confirmed deals right here on mcfc.co.uk.
As ever, of course!
Away from transfer gossip, it appears a football match is actually being played today too, and Mark Hughes is certainly not expecting a Barcelona hangover when the Blues take on the Potters in the Premier League later today.
Stoke have not played for 10 days, whereas City’s fixture list has been just a tad busier.
(In fact, what with the FA Cup, Champions League and a postponement, it feels like ages ago that we last played in the league!)
However, the Potters’ boss reckons the Blues will be completely focused on today’s test.
Hughes is quoted in the Independent as saying: "They're able to go from one challenge to another and refocus very quickly.
"They've got a huge squad of great quality. The difficulty from my point of view is knowing who they're going to pick on the day.
"They've been absolutely outstanding at home and averaged a significant amount of goals as well, so it's a huge task."
...Mark Hughes on City v Stoke...
"But we've had really positive results against the top teams this year, beating Chelsea and Manchester United, drawing with City, which very few teams have been able to accomplish, so we were pleased with that performance at the Britannia.
"We'll have to match that and maybe go somewhere a little bit more as well."
Don’t despair if you can’t see the game, we’ll have our usual audio and text commentary in the Match Day Centre, and join us after full time for all the post-match reaction.