Milner is City's next target after £24m Silva deal

Mancini hopeful that Villa player will demand move as deals for Touré and Boateng are wrapped up
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The Independent Football

Manchester City will continue their summer spending today by signing off the deals bringing Yaya Touré and Jerome Boateng to the club and are hoping James Milner will play his own part in securing a release from Aston Villa.

Confirmation of David Silva's arrival from Valencia came yesterday – he joins for around £24.25m on a four-year deal worth £140,000-a-week – and 21-year-old Boateng's arrival for a £10.5m development fee from Hamburg will be officially concluded today. Boateng's contract with the Bundesliga side expired yesterday, though Fifa rules stipulate that, as the player is under the age of 24, City must compensate Hamburg.

The £26m deal bringing Touré from Barcelona to join his brother Kolo is so far advanced that a City delegation flew to Catalonia on Monday, oversaw his medical and concluded the interview with him for the club website before heading off on holiday. The deal awaits the signature of the new Barcelona president, Sandro Rosell, who takes up his office today.

Despite the £60m investment, of which Silva is the signature acquisition that City believe may make others feel that they are a club worth joining, Milner remains a firm target. The 25-year-old is currently away on a short break following England's early return from the World Cup and City now feel that it is up to him to ensure progress is made towards a transfer.

There is a feeling that if Milner makes his desire for a move known to Villa then his manager, Martin O'Neill, may drop his £30m asking price to something more realistic. City tried to tie up a deal before the World Cup with an £18m bid plus £2m of add-ons, though Villa quickly rejected it. Despite his fine display in England's win over Slovenia last week, Milner's World Cup has not inflated his value and a £25m deal would appear to represent good value for Villa.

City also want to knock Wolfsburg down on their demand for full payment of a £35m release clause for their Serbian striker Edin Dzeko. City do not value the player above £20m in a transfer market which rated David Villa at €40m (£32.8m) in his move from Valencia to Barcelona and it is possible that the new arrivals may create players surplus to requirement – such as Shaun Wright-Phillips – who would appeal to Wolfsburg's manager, Steve McClaren. The Benfica defender David Luiz is another target, following Maicon's decision to commit to Real Madrid, but City are making the defence a less immediate priority.

Silva, currently on the fringes of Vicente del Bosque's Spanish squad who face Paraguay in Saturday's World Cup quarter-finals, will complete his own medical when Spain's role in the tournament has been concluded.

The City manager, Roberto Mancini, said Silva's arrival would help City compete for next season's Premier League title. "In signing David, we are showing the world that we are bringing the best players here and that we hope to compete to win the Premier League. When players see what is happening at Manchester City and the ambition, they are attracted to what we are building and want to be a part of it."

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