City step up Dzeko chase to cover front line
MANCHESTER CITY will increase efforts to lure Edin Dzeko from Wolfsburg to Eastlands in January and also hand Emmanuel Adebayor the chance to reignite his career at the club following Carlos Tevez's transfer request.
While senior City officials insist that Tevez will not be sold under any circumstances next month, the club are determined to avoid being exposed on the pitch should the situation with the Argentina forward deteriorate further between the closure of the transfer window and the end of the season.
And Dzeko (right), who has patched up his relationship with Wolfsburg coach Steve McClaren since a public show of dissent against the former England manager after being substituted earlier this month, will be Roberto Mancini's number one priority when the market reopens on January 1.
City abandoned efforts to sign the Bosnian striker in the summer due to Wolfsburg's £50m asking price for the 24-year-old.
But the Germans have since lowered the valuation to £35m and, although City are reluctant to meet that price, Mancini and football administrator Brian Marwood have been made aware that the player is determined to move to Eastlands, despite reports that he favours a transfer to Italy.
Paraguayan forward Roque Santa Cruz could be offered as a makeweight in a deal to bring Dzeko to City, but Adebayor, who has repeatedly stated his desire to leave in January, is now set to be given a reprieve due to the Tevez stand-off.
Adebayor has fallen out of favour under Mancini, but the former Arsenal forward's standing as a proven Premier League goalscorer ensures that he will be a tried and tested replacement for Tevez should his performances drop off alarmingly due to his discontent at the club.
The prospect of Real Madrid offering Tevez an escape route from City has diminished, however, with president Florentino Perez ruling out a move for the forward.
Real expect Gonzalo Higuain to prove his fitness before the resumption of the Champions League in February and it is understood that manager Jose Mourinho has little interest in Tevez.
Meanwhile, City have signed the highly rated forward Guy Assulin on a two-and-a-half year contract following his release from Barcelona in the summer. (© Daily Telegraph, London)