Transfer talk (Friday, 19 June)


They shoot...

City close in on Eto'o

Manchester City's chief executive Garry Cook and football administrator Brian Marwood were in further talks with Barcelona over Samuel Eto'o yesterday which City hope will lead to them being given permission to talk to the player. City are ready to pay a huge wage, though not a figure as high as the extraordinary £192,000 a week after tax which has been suggested. City also hope to conclude a £17.5m deal for Blackburn's Roque Santa Cruz in days, rather than weeks.

Clubs vying for Vignal

Former Liverpool defender Grégory Vignal says Stoke and Porto are monit-oring his situation. The Lens left-back spent 2007-08 on loan at Southampton but is out of contract this summer.

Galacticos ready to sit tight

Following David Villa's protestations this week that he has decided on his future, the Real Madrid president Florentino Perez yesterday said the club were prepared to wait to secure the services of the Spaniard. "The operation is a question of time," Perez said. "We have the whole summer and it will be important to explain the signing to both sets of fans."

Barry bound for Brum

The Birmingham manager, Alex McLeish, hopes to be reunited with his former Rangers captain Barry Ferguson, saying: "He is one of a number I'm interested in."

They score...

Vermaelen set for Gunners

The Ajax centre-back Thomas Vermaelen is due to undergo a medical at Arsenal today. "When a club like Arsenal stands at your door, you just go," the 23-year-old said. "I feel so proud, Arsenal is a fantastic club and one that, as a child, I enjoyed watching. This is one of the most beautiful days of my life."

Coyle extends Clarets stay

Burnley manager and recent Celtic target Owen Coyle has signed a two-year contract extension at Turf Moor, keeping him at the top-flight newcomers until 2013.

They miss...

Lyons yearn to keep Karim

Lyons president John Michel Aulas said the club retain a slight hope of keeping sought-after striker Karim Benzema. "There is a tsunami called Real Madrid which provokes reactions at Chelsea, Man City and Man United," Aulas said. "It is very complicated to say he is non-transferable. It's obvious we want to keep him. For the moment, I managed to convince them not to go further."

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