Mail: New long-term deals for City quartet
- 27 July 2014 08:48
- Posted by @NieldyMCFC
The pixelated and paper pages of the media machine are literally bursting at the seams with City-related news and gossip this Sunday morning, so without further ado, let’s get stuck in…
First-up, the Mail Online are reporting that City are hoping the secure the long-terms futures of four influential members of the title-winning squad.
“Talks with England’s Joe Hart and James Milner, as well as Bosnia striker Edin Dzeko, will be stepped up over the coming weeks after the trio joined the club’s pre-season tour of the United States.
“Argentina striker Sergio Aguero is also expected to sign a new long-term deal before the start of the season as the Premier League champions look to secure the futures of more key players having already agreed terms with Samir Nasri and Aleksandar Kolarov this summer,” reports Chris Wheeler.
“It is understood Aguero’s contract will be worth in excess of £50million to keep him out of the clutches of Barcelona and Real Madrid.
“The 26-year-old has been told to report back on August 4 along with his Argentina team-mates Pablo Zabaleta and Martin Demichelis after reaching the World Cup final, even though Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is prepared to lose three members of Germany’s victorious squad — Mesut Ozil, Per Mertesacker and Lukas Podolski — for the start of the season by giving them extra time off.
“Dzeko was City’s second highest scorer behind Aguero last season with 26 goals, establishing himself as the main target man ahead of Alvaro Negredo in the second half of the campaign.
“The 28-year-old was close to leaving the Etihad before Manuel Pellegrini took over as manager last summer but is set to extend a contract that has now entered its final year.
“Hart has two years left on his deal and City do not envisage any problems persuading him to stay despite bringing in Malaga’s Willy Caballero for £6million to provide competition for the keeper.
“But Milner’s situation is less clear with the midfielder known to be concerned over his lack of playing time. The 28-year-old will be out of contract next summer and may wait to see what role he plays in the early part of this season before deciding on his future.”
There’s even more good news for Joe Hart according to Steve Stammers in the Mirror who reckons that the City-stopper, with 40 caps to his name, could be in-line for the England captaincy after his influence on the squad during the World Cup impressed manager Roy Hodgson.
“He is also the No.1 choice as goalkeeper in the Hodgson regime and will be the last line of defence in England’s European Championship qualifying campaign, which begins in September against Switzerland in Basel.
“There is a friendly at Wembley against Norway the week before the first competitive clash, and Hodgson will reveal his new captain when the squad for the double header is announced.
“Rooney is the favourite, but Hodgson may feel that the Manchester United striker would be more effective concentrating on his own game rather than deal with the distractions that go with the captaincy role.
“Cue 6ft 5in Hart, who now has 40 caps and has been a key figure in Hodgson’s squads.
“He would become the fourth goalkeeper in the modern era to captain England.
“Peter Shilton led the team on 15 occasions while Ray Clemence and David Seaman have also been skipper.”
The popular fullback’s future has been a much-talked-about topic throughout the transfer window with Liverpool looking the likeliest of destinations for the defender who came through the ranks at City. However the White Hart Lane outfit have joined the potential list of suitors for Richards that also includes Southampton and Everton.
“But while Roberto Martinez’s Merseysiders initially appeared to be at the head of the queue for Richards, 25, Spurs’ interest could well leave them empty-handed.
“But Richards, whose once promising career has stalled in the last couple of years, would definitely favour a switch to N17.
“New White Hart Lane chief Mauricio Pochettino wants a proven right-back and Richards’ versatility - he can also play at centre-half – makes him the ideal addition.”
The Blues face AC Milan tonight at Heinz Field in the opening Guinness International Champions Cup game. Full coverage on www.mcfc.co.uk and Twitter to come from the 9pm BST kick-off.