EXCLUSIVE: Man City battle Barca for Alves, but Porto want £25m for star

23 February 2009 04:42
Manchester City

are locked in a straight fight with Barcelona for Porto defender Bruno Alves after narrowly failing to sign him on the final day of last month's transfer window.

Sportsmail can reveal that City switched to Alves, in their search for a centre-half, after abandoning their efforts to try to prise Kolo Toure away from Manchester City 24 hours earlier.

Expecting a bid: Alves is likely to move on from Porto

Club officials at Porto have confirmed that City made an offer for the 27-year old, believed to be around £15million, and that it was turned down. Barcelona also lodged a bid, but both clubs fell short of an asking price reported to be over £25million.

City were prepared to go to £12million for Toure, but may now concentrate their efforts on agreeing a fee for Alves in their quest to find an experienced figure to partner Richard Dunne at the heart of their defence next season.

Dominant in the air and aggressive in his overall approach, Alves has flourished since Jesualdo Ferreira took over as Porto coach two seasons ago and has established himself as the cornerstone of Portugal's defence.

His form this season has made him a target for several leading European clubs, with his father revealing earlier this month that Barcelona had contacted him about a move to the Nou Camp.

City are ready to follow up their interest with a renewed bid in the summer, having pinpointed central defence as an area for strengthening.

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Source: Daily_Mail