BEIRUT

Football

Man City set to make a $124-million swoop for Cavani and Falcao

Uruguay's Edinson Cavani, left, and Venezuela's Gabriel Cichero compete for the ball during a 2014 World Cup qualifying soccer game in Montevideo, Uruguay, Saturday, June 2, 2012. The game ended 1-1. (AP Photo/Javier Calvelo)

BEIRUT: Manchester City are planning to add to their attacking options this summer, with reports suggesting the club are ready to move for both Edinson Cavani and Radamel Falcao for a combined 80 million pounds ($124 million).

City boss Roberto Mancini is keen to attract top talent to the Etihad Stadium during the current transfer window and is believed to have identified the two strikers as the ideal candidates.

Cavani has emerged as one of the most sought after players in European football, with the Napoli forward’s form last campaign having alerted top clubs to his presence.

The player scored 33 goals last season as he helped his side win the Copa Italia, their first trophy in 22 years, but Metro reports that Napoli’s failure to qualify for the Champions League could see him being tempted to seek a move away from Italy.

The Uruguayan is also being considered by Italian champions Juventus.

Columbian Falcao has been a huge success at Atletico Madrid since completing a 35-million-pound transfer from Porto last summer, with the player having scored 36 goals as the club won the Europa League.

The 26-year-old has also been linked with moves to Real Madrid and Chelsea, but Atletico appear determined to retain his services.

The club have issued a hands-off warning to interested parties, claiming they will not be considering any offers for the player.

“Falcao will remain at Atletico Madrid, and any talk of an exit is misplaced. The club has very clear ideas on this,” Club Sporting Director Jose Luis Caminero told Spanish paper AS.

“The striker will remain with us next season and we are not considering any other possibility.”

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed he is “on the case” of a move for German forward Marco Reus.

The player scored Germany’s forth goal in their quarterfinal clash with Greece, with Wenger raving about the 23-year-old as he commentated on the game for French television.

Reus only joined Borussia Dortmund in January in a 14-million-pound deal but was immediately loaned out to Borussia Monchengladbach for the remainder of the season.

The Arsenal manager was asked by fellow TF1 analyst and former Bayern Munich defender Bixente Lizarazu if he was “on the case” of the player, to which the Frenchman coyly admitted “yes” before returning to commentate on the game.

Ajax have told Tottenham they really need to work faster if they want to complete the transfer of club captain Jan Vertonghen.

Talks between the two sides are ongoing despite Spurs’ recent dismissal of Harry Redknapp, but reports from the Ajax camp suggest progress has stagnated.

“We all hoped for a rapid agreement between Tottenham Hotspur and Ajax and Spurs and Jan Vertonghen,” Ajax financial director Jeroen Slop told the Dutch daily De Telegraaf.

“It’s in its final stage, but in our opinion there is still no concrete news,” he said.

Yet Vertonghen’s agent, Mustapha Nakhli, said it is up to the Dutch club to smooth a deal with the north London club.

“Jan Vertonghen has always stood by Ajax, and he expects that the club does than now,” Vertonghen’s agent told De Telegraaf.

QPR are set to take advantage of Man City’s decision to axe members of their squad, with boss Mark Hughes setting his eyes on Kolo Toure, Roque Santa Cruz and Wayne Bridge.

Reports in the British media suggest that Hughes is prepared to snap up the players he signed when he was manager of City, having bought the players for a combined total of 45 million pounds ($70 million).

With City known to be keen to slash their wage bill, the Daily Star London suggest that QPR are hoping to complete the transfers for as little as 8 million pounds.

The players are not expected to feature much for the first team next season, yet still collect around 90,000 pounds each a week.

New Manchester United signing Shinji Kagawa has revealed he turned down the opportunity to wear the club’s iconic No. 7 shirt next season, as he feels he still has much to prove before he can accept such an “honor.”

The Japanese international recently completed a 17-million-pound ($26.4 million) transfer to Old Trafford, with the 23-year-old agreeing a four-year deal with the club, yet balked at the offer to wear the same number as Manchester United legends Eric Cantona, George Best, David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo.

“I’ve just joined the team and haven’t accomplished anything yet,” Kagawa said.

“I want to make a name for myself [at United] on my own terms,” the new United player said.

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson revealed his excitement at securing the services of the player from Borussia Dortmund.

“Shinji is an exciting young midfielder with great skill, vision and a good eye for goal,” Ferguson told the Daily Mail.

“I am delighted he has chosen to come to United. I believe he will make an impact upon the team very quickly as he is suited to United’s style of play. We are all looking forward to working with him,” the Manchester United boss declared.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on June 26, 2012, on page 14.

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