City ponder Brazilian blend as Thaksin jets in to meet Sven

Sven Goran Eriksson will place a shopping list of players before the Manchester City owner, Thaksin Shinawatra, when the two men finally meet in Manchester tomorrow, on an occasion which might dictate whether the Swede has a future at the club.

Eriksson's vision for the future is clearly shaped by his Brazilian contacts and by his experience as England manager, with Peter Crouch and Aaron Lennon, both favoured by the Swede during his tenure at the FA, believed to be among those he would covet now. Eriksson's closeness to the current Brazil manager, Dunga, whom he recruited from Pisa for the Fiorentina midfield in 1988, led him to purchase Elano last summer and the same contact has delivered another Brazilian, the CSKA Moscow player Joao Alves de Assis Silva (known as Jo), to a place near the top of his list – though a work permit may be difficult because of his solitary international cap.

Jo's £8m-rated team-mate and countryman Daniel Carvalho is also highly rated by Eriksson and will be on the list Thaksin will be presented with when he meets his manager at Eastlands after City's last home game of the season against Fulham. But the question of whether Ronaldinho might also swell the Brazilian ranks remains one of much conjecture.

The view within the club is that purchasing a player Eriksson admires immensely would be to the detriment of his desire to reinforce in many departments because the £40m-£50m fee, including wages, would blow the entire kitty Thaksin is ready to provide. There is also a feeling agents, aware of Thaksin's considerable fortune and minimal football know-how, are looking to capitalise by shipping him in.

But Eriksson, who has not spoken to the Thai since last month and has several players on his list of whom the owner is not aware, might well be told that Thaksin is intent on buying a superstar like Ronaldinho to fill Eastlands. City's indifferent attendances have been as much a source of frustration to him as recent results.

Noises from Italy certainly suggest that his arrival is a possibility, even though the probable absence of Champions League football at City in the next two years would appear a deterrent to the 28-year-old.

Ronaldinho is understood to have told team-mates that he may be leaving Barcelona for City and one source has suggested that, despite the player's preference for Milan, the Italian side are unlikely, in the final reckoning, to be willing to match his Barcelona salary of €10m (£7.97m) a year. If, as the source expected, the Italians ultimately pull out, City would be the only viable alternative.

Sources have suggested that Barcelona are also desperate to offload Thierry Henry if they can recoup anywhere near the £16m they paid Arsenal for him. With a general feeling that Ronaldinho may want some of his former team-mates from Barcelona with him at City, this has raised the notion of both being at City – though that would seem a financial impossibility.

Thaksin's acolytes certainly have been in close contact with the agent Pini Zahavi and and Roberto de Assis, Ronaldinho's brother and agent, who was entertained at City three weeks ago. Though Thaksin, away in Bangkok fighting corruption charges, is understood to have been a step removed, Eriksson said yesterday that he believed Thaksin's aides at City certainly spoke for him.

Thaksin has not demonstrated, in the itinerary for his Manchester visit this weekend, that he is intent on smoothing things over with Eriksson, having failed to dispel rumours last week that he might be prepared to remove him in favour of the Portugal national team coach Luiz Felipe Scolari – a Brazilian well acquainted with Ronaldinho, as well as others on the City shopping list. Thaksin's expected arrival yesterday was put back until tomorrow and he will leave Manchester on Sunday, having watched the Fulham match and completed a series of meetings.

But any attempt on his part to foist Ronaldinho on Eriksson at the expense of the breadth of players the manager considers necessary is likely to be met with short shrift. The Swede insisted last week that decisions on who should or should not be signed belonged to him. "Nobody will come here unless I have given the green light," he said. "It's not an issue at Manchester City." He has also dismissed the notion of buying a global superstar to fill the stadium as folly.

Eriksson admitted he remains unclear how much money Thaksin is prepared to make available to him, though the Thai has already cautioned against the assumption that there will be a bottomless pit. "We can't talk to players yet but we can talk to agents to see what's going to happen," Eriksson said. "Because of [Thaksin's] business in Thailand it's been difficult to talk to him and see him. I want to speak to him, of course I do." On the question of whom he might sign, Eriksson would only say he was ambitious. "We have a very good team but if we want to go one step further we have to take in world-class players," he said.

The City manager revealed that it was possible that Micah Richards may not play for the club again this season. He begins light training next week and could struggle to recover from surgery on his knee in time to feature.

Sven's men: City's potential buys

Jo, CSKA Moscow £20m

City first bid for the player in January and, though he recently extended his contract with the Russian side to 2011, the CSKA president Yevgeny Giner is understood to be ready to part with him for €25m (£20m). The player's agent Marcelo Dijan claimed yesterday that no bid has been lodged but that things "might happen."

Aaron Lennon, Tottenham Hotspur £10m

Juande Ramos is said to be uncertain about whether the ex-Leeds player has a future at White Hart Lane. Liverpool and Newcastle have been linked but Eriksson would be interested in a player he took to the 2006 World Cup and used. Attractive with chances of signing Theo Walcott fading.

Peter Crouch, Liverpool £9m

Another player Eriksson admired in his England management days has always been high on his list of targets. A striker is arguably City's greatest need, since none of those purchased has delivered.

Ronaldinho, Barcelona £40m-£50m

Milan look the Brazilian's most likely destination. Owner Silvio Berlusconi, asked if there was a chance for him to join the Serie A club, said: "Absolutely." But there have been doubts about the Italians' ability to buy. A player Eriksson would like, but not at the expense of being denied others.

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Game Of Thrones
Uh-oh, winter is coming. Ouch, my eyes! Ygritte’s a goner. Lysa’s a goner. Tywin’s a goner. Look, a dragon
tvSpoiler warning: The British actor says viewers have 'not seen the last' of his character
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave long-running series
Sport
The Etihad Stadium, home of Manchester City
premier league

The Independent's live blog of today's Premier League action

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Polly Borgen at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2012
peopleThe Emmy award-winner starred in Cape Fear, the Sopranos and Desperate House Wives
News
people'I hated him during those times'
News
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
News
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: 'Time Heist' sees a darker side to Peter Capaldi's Doctor
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam