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Thaksin to splash cash in record City deal

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o (Joao Alves de Assis Silva) of PFC CSKA Moscow in action during the Russian Premier League match between PFC CSKA Moskva and FC Luch-Energia Vladivostok at the Luzhniki Stadium on October 07, 2007 in Moscow, Russia. Credit: Dima Korotayev, Getty Images

o (Joao Alves de Assis Silva) of PFC CSKA Moscow in action during the Russian Premier League match between PFC CSKA Moskva and FC Luch-Energia Vladivostok at the Luzhniki Stadium on October 07, 2007 in Moscow, Russia. Credit: Dima Korotayev, Getty Images

o (Joao Alves de Assis Silva) of PFC CSKA Moscow in action during the Russian Premier League match between PFC CSKA Moskva and FC Luch-Energia Vladivostok at the Luzhniki Stadium on October 07, 2007 in Moscow, Russia. Credit: Dima Korotayev, Getty Images

Manchester City are on the verge of smashing their transfer record to sign Jo, the highly rated CSKA Moscow and Brazil striker, as Thaksin Shinawatra, the club's controversial owner, takes his first steps towards attempting to pacify supporters appalled by his treatment of Sven-Goran Eriksson.

Jo was in Manchester over the weekend to discuss personal terms and City are hopeful that the deal, worth about £18m, will be concluded within the week once the final details have been ironed out.

Everton were also keen to sign the 21-year-old forward but the Merseyside club have conceded defeat as City put the finishing touches to a transfer that would dwarf their previous record of £13m, paid to Paris Saint-Germain for Nicolas Anelka in 2002.

The deal has been complicated by the fact that Jo is partly owned by Media Sports Investments (MSI), the consortium led by Kia Joorabchian.

Although a season-long loan had been mooted, City were eager to buy Jo outright to avoid the problems presented by third-party ownership, but while the exact structure of the deal is unclear, it is understood that the club will become the sole owners of Jo with the transfer fee paid in installments.

Hopeful

Given that Jo has only been capped once by Brazil, he may initially have difficulty receiving a work permit, but the club are hopeful that he will be able to obtain one upon appeal.

What impact such a significant arrival might have on the fans' feelings towards Thaksin remains to be seen, but Jo is unlikely to be the only high-profile signing as the City owner prepares to contradict claims last month that he would "not be spending huge amounts of money this summer."

City spent about £40m on eight players last summer and a similar outlay is expected this time, albeit on probably half the number of recruits.

Moves are also afoot to sign Giovani Dos Santos, the £8m-rated Barcelona and Mexico striker.

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Quite where Eriksson stands in all of this only Thaksin seems to know. Sources close to the City manager indicated last night that he was still in the dark as to whether he would be given his marching orders, but it is expected that Thaksin will sack the Swede once he has completed his review of the club next week. (© The Times, London)


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