Manchester City are preparing to battle against Premier League rivals Chelsea over the signing of Ajax youngster Gregory van der Wiel.
The Citizens sent a group of scouts to watch the 22-year-old in January as he put in another impressive performance against archrivals Feyenoord. The right-back played every minute of league football for the Godenzonen last season and reached the World Cup final with the Netherlands in 2010.
Ajax are famous for their selling nature and sold front man Luis Suarez to Liverpool in the January transfer window and the Amsterdam faithful have already conceded that they will lose their bright young star, van der Wiel, in the summer.
Now, City and Chelsea are lining up bids for the Dutchman in the summer and are preparing to send more scouts to record his progress between now and the end of the season.
Kolarov: Weekend must-win.
Manchester City full-back Aleksandar Kolarov believes the Blues must beat West Bromwich Albion this weekend in order to keep their title challenge alive.
City currently sit in third place, eight points behind leaders and city rivals Manchester United, having played one more game.
The Serbian has admitted his team must collect three points from the Baggies on Saturday or settle for a Champions League place at the end of the season.
Speaking to The Guardian, Kolarov said: “We try to do our best and if we can play against West Bromwich on Saturday how we played in other months then I think we are in the title race.
“We have to win this game if we want to do good things in the championship. The next game after West Brom is the derby [on 12 February] and we will see then our power. I hope for victory against West Brom and then we can do our best at Old Trafford.”
Hart fears being dropped.
Joe Hart has revealed to his closes friends that he fears he will be dropped from the first-team after a few slip-ups, according to The Daily Mail.
Roberto Mancini has criticised his goalkeeper for a lack of concentration this season but the 23-year-old has kept his place between the sticks thus far and the England international has told friends he is worried that he will be replaced in the near future.
Speaking after his side’s 2-2 draw with Birmingham City, Hart said: “Criticism is part and parcel of being a keeper but us letting in goals doesn’t look great for me.
“I’ve not been pleased. I hate letting goals in and some of them have come in a bit of an awkward manner.
“At the start of the season the ball was hitting me and at the moment I’m in a patch where it isn’t. You’ve got to be strong, brush that aside and look to come out the other side.”