Mancini eyes Donovan as Manchester City seek to continue spending spree
Thursday 22 July 2010
Manchester City hope to continue their summer spending spree by bringing the United States international Landon Donovan to Eastlands. The club have already signed David Silva, Yaya Touré and Jerome Boateng for more than £60m and have now targeted the LA Galaxy winger, who had a good World Cup after impressing during a loan spell at Everton last season.
Donovan, 28, has talked of his desire to continue playing in England, but LA Galaxy and MLS officials appeared to have scuppered that recently in view of his importance to the growth of the game in America.
Any move by the City manager, Roberto Mancini, would be sure to antagonise Everton, too. Relations were strained to breaking point last summer when Mancini's predecessor, Mark Hughes, tempted Joleon Lescott to jump ship at Goodison and join the City revolution.
The Everton manager, David Moyes, would consider himself favourite to land Donovan should the winger return to the Premier League, but he would not be able to match City's wages for the 28-year-old Californian. City reportedly sent a scout to watch Donovan in all four games he played during the World Cup, including the thrilling final Group C game against Algeria when he scored the dramatic injury-time winner that took the United States through to the last 16.
Mancini is also looking to firm up his interest in the Internazionale pair Maicon and Mario Balotelli. Real Madrid and their new manager, Jose Mourinho, are favourites to sign Brazil right-back Maicon although the Spanish club have had an £18m bid turned down.
Balotelli's agent insists the teenage striker will not leave Internazionale before the end of this week. The coveted 19-year-old is wanted by City – and Manchester United have also been linked with the player that helped the club win the Coppa Italia, Serie A and Champions League treble last season.
Reports claimed Balotelli could become a City player in the next 24 hours but his agent Mino Raiola has brushed aside those rumours. "With regards to him [Balotelli], there are no updates nor will there be any neither today nor throughout this week," said Raiola. Balotelli, who is in pre-season training with the Italians, is under contract at San Siro for another three seasons.
City are closer to securing the transfers of Aston Villa winger James Milner and Benfica defender David Luiz.
Arsenal strengthened their grip on a top-four finish with a straightforward 3-0 win over Hull City.
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