Berkovic declares love for City and withdraws transfer request

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The Independent Football

Eyal Berkovic withdrew his transfer request yesterday and pledged to win his place back in the Manchester City side.

The Israeli international midfielder had asked to be put on the transfer list before the start of the season. He has seen his place in the side taken by the Frenchman Antoine Sibierski, although he was a substitute when City won 3-2 at Blackburn on Monday to go top of the Premiership.

Berkovic said: "I love the club and I feel at home here and in Manchester. It has always been my dream since I started playing to be at such a big club. I hope things will continue like they are and I will take the transfer request back immediately.

"I hadn't been happy, because I felt that the club at one stage wanted me to go. I didn't want to make it hard for them, so I asked for a transfer.

"But even when I asked for a transfer, at the bottom of my heart I wanted to stay at City. I have said it thousands of times and I mean it. I want to stay here until the end of my career."

Berkovic insisted that his transfer request had not been triggered by an offer from Portsmouth, and that he was not seeking a new contract.

"It was between me and the manager, but now I feel we are OK and that everything will sort itself out," Berkovic added. "Things are much better. The fans have been wonderful to me. I think they understand me."

Kevin Keegan, City's manager, was full of admiration for Blackburn's summer signing Brett Emerton after Monday's match. A series of corners taken by the Australian midfielder caused havoc in the City defence, with two of them leading to the Blackburn goals, and Emerton was also impressive in open play.

Keegan said: "Emerton is going to be a terrific player in the Premiership, I was very impressed with him. There are not many players around who can whip in a ball like he can, and they murdered us at set-pieces."

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