Arsenal's Gaël Clichy will secure a huge increase in wages with a move to Manchester City but has also resolved to leave north London because he doubts Arsène Wenger's desire to keep him.
As i revealed yesterday, City are close to concluding a deal for Clichy, gazumping Liverpool and enabling the Frenchman to increase his weekly wage from the current £58,000, excluding bonuses, to more than £90,000 at Eastlands.
The transfer north, which is unlikely to be in the next two days because the Frenchman remains out of the country, moved closer yesterday with talks progressing well. The price may be around £10m excluding add-ons, which reveals what Liverpool, who initially bid half that, were up against. Publicly, Wenger has said he wants to keep Clichy. But Arsenal are unwilling to be held to ransom by players who find themselves contemplating more lucrative offers elsewhere.
Wenger also has Kieron Gibbs waiting in the wings, reluctant to be Clichy's understudy for another year, and Clichy's awareness of this is driving his desire to accept City's offer.
City are continuing to move players on. Bolton have renewed their interest in Shaun Wright-Phillips, for whom a loan bid fell through last winter because the club would not agree to a buy clause. The 29-year-old's desire to play regular first-team football may mean he takes a cut in his £60,000-a-week wages. Wigan are also interested in Wright-Phillips. City are no nearer securing the £5m sale of Shay Given to Aston Villa.
City's move for 25-year-old Clichy, which calls into question the future of last summer's £16m buy Aleksandar Kolarov, is likely to deliver their first summer breakthrough. The pursuit of Fiorentina's Alessio Cerci is part of Roberto Mancini's desire to invest in players for the future.
Reports in Italy suggesting an imminent £7m deal for Cerci are inaccurate. Cerci's arrival would bring City another Italian with a colourful background. Though less controversial than Mario Balotelli, the striker has clashed with the fans of Fiorentina, accusing them of scapegoating him last season.Reuse content