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Dzeko heads Mancini's wanted list
Published : 13 Dec 2010 09:22:42
| Submit Comments| Comments (110)| Printable Version1/1Play SlideshowClose MapEdin Dzeko has been on City?s radar for a long time ? but the chances of him moving to Eastlands may just have increased over the last few days. The Blues first targeted the Bosnian striker more than 18 months ago, after his haul of 26 league goals helped Wolfsburg to a surprise Bundesliga title. City then made a concerted effort to bring Dzeko to Eastlands last summer, but baulked at paying the £34m demanded by his club. But as Wolfsburg?s fortunes have dipped ? they failed to qualify for Europe last season and are in danger of getting sucked into a relegation battle this term ? their captain has become increasingly frustrated. Those frustrations reached their peak nine days ago with a public show of dissent against his manager Steve McClaren. Dzeko walked straight past former England boss McClaren?s outstretched hand and disappeared down the tunnel after being substituted during a goalless draw against Werder Bremen. It was an off-day all round for the 24-year-old, who missed a penalty during the game. And he drew a blank again over the weekend in another 0-0 draw, this time at Kaiserslautern. Wolfsburg have dealt with the public McClaren snub internally, insisting that Dzeko ? whose contract runs until 2013 ? will not be moving on in January. Significantly And the striker?s own attitude also suggests that any move away from the Bundesliga will be done at the end of this season. Yet Carlos Tevez?s transfer request may yet open the door at Eastlands to a Bosnian talent whose days at the Volkswagen Arena appear to be numbered. Wolfsburg have shown no signs of dropping their asking price significantly, though, and the Blues are in no mood to pay over the odds for anyone as they bid to reduce losses in order to comply with UEFA?s pending financial fair play rules. Real Madrid have been sniffing round for a possible deal over the last month or so, although Wolfsburg sporting director Dieter Hoeness insists there has been no approach. AC Milan, the club Dzeko supports, have also been linked with a move for him, as have the Blues? neighbours United. ?There are many rumours, but it is too early to say what will happen,? the striker said. ?I?m focused on Wolfsburg.? Despite his disappointment at the way his season is turning out, Dzeko has continued to score regularly, hitting eight goals in 15 games for his club. City boss Roberto Mancini and football administrator Brian Marwood are continuing to keep an eye on developments at Wolfsburg, and would be prepared to do a deal for a reasonable price. Mancini?s hand will be strengthened significantly if the Blues secure a place in next season?s Champions League, given that Wolfsburg are unlikely to qualify for Europe at all next season. But if Hoeness continues to ask for silly money, then Mancini may use the Champions League carrot to make another move for Liverpool striker Fernando Torres. City?s audacious £50m attempt to prise Torres from Anfield last summer fell down largely because they had missed out on a top-four Premier League finish. The 26-year-old, who has scored seven goals this season, has already demonstrated his loyalty to Liverpool by sticking around despite their own failure to make this season?s Champions League. Coveted But a top-four Premier League finish under Roy Hodgson is looking increasingly unlikely ? they lie ninth, eight points off the Champions League spots, following Saturday?s 3-1 defeat at Newcastle. And Torres, who is under contract at Anfield until 2013, with the option of an extra year beyond that, may well have to decide whether a second season of Europa League football ? at best ? is really what he wants as he reaches his peak. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, another striker Mancini coveted last summer, has indicated that he is happy at AC Milan after making the switch from Barcelona. The 29-year-old Swede?s contentment at the San Siro is in sharp contrast to his final months at the Nou Camp, when he seemed to spend most of his time telling the world how much his relationship with Barca coach Pep Guardiola had deteriorated. Indeed, Ibrahimovic is so happy at Milan that his new hobby is trying to persuade City striker Mario Balotelli, with whom he shares the eccentric agent Mino Raiola, to team up with him at the San Siro. ?Mario is a great player,? Ibrahimovic said. ?He has proved to be clever as well. It would be nice to play together.?Mancini, though, sees Balotelli staying at Eastlands for the long haul. It?s the future of Tevez ? and the potential task of finding a replacement ? which is taxing the City hierarchy now.