Man City Daily – Levante set to sign cut price Caicedo, Sneijder lauds Balotelli, FC United express concern

Manchester City look set to miss out on a potential cash injection from the sale of Felipe Caicedo, due to a clause in his loan agreement with Levante that allows the club to buy him for £850,000 at the end of the season. Having scored 11 goals in 19 appearances thus far, including the winner against Espanyol at the weekend, his value is likely to be significantly more in the current transfer market. It has been suggested that Levante will activate the clause in the summer and immediately offer him to clubs for a fee in excess of £4m with Atletico Madrid already rumoured to be interested. Caicedo was signed by Sven Goran Eriksson for £5.2m in January 2008 and is the last of his signings that is still with the club. He made 34 appearances over two seasons, scoring eight goals and has previously been loaned to Sporting Lisbon and Malaga.

Inter Milan’s Wesley Sneijder believes it is only a matter of time before Mario Balotelli is held in the same regard as the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Having played alongside Balotelli last season, he believes he has the talent to become a superstar, if he can keep his “crazy” ways in check, on and off the pitch. “He has a personality,” said Sneijder. “Sometimes as a player he is amazing because he can do crazy things on the pitch. But outside of the pitch he can do crazy things, stupid things sometimes. He knows this because I talked many times with him last year. He is still young and sometimes he loses control.”

Balotelli has 10 goals in 17 appearances for City since his £24m arrival in the summer, although the goals have come in bunches and have often been overshadowed by on-field tantrums and training ground bust ups with team mates. “He’s like he was here before,” added Sneijder. “He’s a player with a lot of qualities. He can be one of the best strikers in the world if he continues like this. If he starts thinking in the right way he can be one of the biggest strikers in the world. He’s still young, he needs some time, but he is doing very well.”

FC United of Manchester have expressed concerns relating to the blocking of their proposed 5,000 seater community stadium and the withdrawal of £650,000 funding and lease approval. This decision was closely followed by the publication of documents outlining a ten-year joint venture between Manchester City and the local council to regenerate the land around Eastlands, including the Ten Acres Lane site earmarked for the new ground.

City currently pay £3m a year rent for the land and a club spokesman shed light on the situation: “We have some say in how the council spends our rental income, but that has nothing to do with the decision on FC United’s proposed ground. That was down to the council, who have had to make huge budget cuts across the board.” FC United General Manager Andy Walsh confirmed that questions have been raised by the recent order of events: “Our fans have suspicions about the council project with City coming so soon after our rejection. But we have been assured that the council will help us and are examining other sites.”

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