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Thursday 2 October 2014

City closing in on keeper Caballero

Published 07/07/2014 | 12:53

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Willy Caballero is understood to be close to a £6million switch to Manchester City

Manchester City are closing in on a deal for Malaga goalkeeper Willy Caballero.

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Press Association Sport understands the club are in negotiations with the Argentinian, who has been linked with a £6million switch to the Barclays Premier League champions.

City are looking for a new understudy to first-choice goalkeeper Joe Hart after Costel Pantilimon was released at the end of last season.

Caballero, 32, has also been linked with Monaco and Barcelona but his previous experience of working with City boss Manuel Pellegrini at Malaga could be decisive.

Pellegrini previously signed the former Boca Juniors goalkeeper for the Andalucian club from Elche.

City's interest in Caballero comes in spite of recent statements from Malaga president Abdullah Al Thani voicing determination to keep the player.

Al Thani, also responding to reports he could sell the club, wrote on Twitter: "Malaga CF is NOT for sale. Second, regarding Willy Caballero he is NOT for sale too.

"I am sure he's happy at Malaga CF. We didn't get any official letter from Manchester City to buy Willy.

"Me as a chairman of Malaga CF I would never let him go. He has been the best goalkeeper in those whole three years.

"I mentioned previously that we can't keep him if he wants to leave and the end it is his decision and I'm sure being with us will be his best decision, Malaga CF are his number 1 fans."

City, meanwhile, are understood to have no interest in Barcelona winger Alexis Sanchez.

Barcelona are reportedly prepared to let the Chile international - and compatriot of Pellegrini - leave the Nou Camp as they pursue a potential deal for Liverpool's Luis Suarez.

There have been suggestions of a potential swap deal for Suarez while Juventus, Arsenal and Manchester United have also emerged as possible destinations for Sanchez.

City are another club to have been linked with a big-money move but they are not preparing a bid.

City are limited to a net £49million spend this summer as punishment for breaching the Financial Fair Play rules of European governing body UEFA.

They have already made two signings after the £12million capture of midfielder Fernando from Porto and the free transfer of right-back Bacary Sagna from Arsenal.

City's non-World Cup players were due to report to Carrington for the start of pre-season training on Monday.

Meanwhile, youngster Marcos Lopes has joined Lille on a season-long loan.

The Portuguese playmaker announced himself to City fans with a starring role in last season's Capital One Cup semi-final second leg against West Ham, setting up two goals.

He told mcfc.co.uk: "It is very important for me to play in a professional league for the first time. I think playing in the French League will be very beneficial because it is a league that is getting bigger, better and stronger every year."

Lille finished third in Ligue 1 next season to qualify for the preliminary stages of the Champions League.

And Lopes added: "It would be very exciting to be able to play Champions League football. It would be such a good experience for me to play in that competition, which everyone recognises as the best in European football."

Press Association

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