Brazilian club Santos today confirmed that Manchester City are one of five clubs locked in bidding war for striker Neymar.
Santos president, Luis Alvaro de Oliveira Ribeiro told ESPN Brazil that the release clause of £40.3 million had been triggered by Manchester City, Chelsea, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Anzhi Makhachkala and that the player will be allowed to speak to these clubs, though Neymar has stated his preference would be to play for the Madrid giants.
Neymar, 19, one of the hottest properties in world football, is currently in Argentina with the Brazilian squad to prepare for the 2011 Copa America where he is expected to star.
Whilst the release clause is high, Manchester City may consider this good value – especially compared to the fee for Andy Carroll – for a striker already establishing himself at international level and who scored six goals with Santos in winning the Copa Libertadores.
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Legend Doyle passes away.
Manchester City today reported the sad news of the death of Blues legend, Mike Doyle aged 64. During a 16 year career with City, Doyle made 558 appearances, scoring 40 goals. He remains City’s most decorated player. A tough and uncompromising defender, he made the No 4 jersey his own playing in 40 out of 42 games in the title winning 1967/8 season. Doyle collected a FA Cup winner’s medal in 1969 and a 1970 European Cup winner’s medal.
In 1975, the same year as the first of his five England caps, Doyle was handed the captains armband of his beloved City, leading them to League Cup glory against Newcastle in 1976.
To the pleasure of City fans, his love of City was matched by his dislike of United. He enjoyed nothing more than to stir things up between the two clubs – famously claiming – “There are only two teams in Manchester – Manchester City and Manchester City Reserves”.
The title of his 2004 autobiography “Blue Blood” captured this perfectly. He will be sadly missed by City and football fans everywhere.
Fringe players set for exit.
Former appointed Blackburn Rovers chairman, John Williams, has been given a six month contract by City with a brief to remove marginalised assets, reports the Daily Mail.
Well respected within football and acknowledged to be an astute operator, Williams will be tasked in reducing the squad numbers, particularly of the fringe players on high salaries, to bring in funds and make room for new transfers.
Roque Santa Cruz, Craig Bellamy, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Wayne Bridge Emmanuel Adebayor, Jerome Boateng and Nedrum Onuoha have all recently been strongly linked with moves away from Eastlands. In some cases this may mean City taking a substantial loss to move them on. Two other strongly rumoured departures – James Milner and Shay Given – have been told they will not be sold and will have to stay and fight for their places.
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