Balotelli is Mancini's new Italian import
Mario Balotelli, the talented but problematic Italian striker, has taken Manchester City's spending for the summer to the £100m mark, with the player flying into England on Saturday to complete the formalities of a transfer deal.sports Updated: Aug 15, 2010 00:26 IST
Mario Balotelli, the talented but problematic Italian striker, has taken Manchester City's spending for the summer to the £100m mark, with the player flying into England on Saturday to complete the formalities of a transfer deal.
With Internazionale dropping their asking price to £22.5m, on the proviso of several performance-related add-ons being included in the package, Balotelli becomes the fifth major signing to arrive at Eastlands ahead of Mancini's first full season in charge, with the prospect of Aston Villa's James Milner being added in the coming days.
When Mancini was asked whether the new additions could gel to form a championship-winning side, he said: “Why not?” He spoke of the five signings "changing our history" and that confidence stems largely from successfully ending a two-month pursuit of Balotelli, almost three years after giving him his debut for Internazionale.
Mascherano could stay at Liverpool
London: Roy Hodgson has insisted he does not want Javier Mascherano to leave the club and that the new signing Christian Poulsen has not been brought in as a replacement.
Poulsen was presented to the media on Saturday after signing a three-year contract following his £4.5m move from Juventus. His arrival was thought likely to prompt the departure of Mascherano, linked with a reunion with former Liverpool manager Rafael Benítez at Internazionale, but Hodgson said that was not the case.
"At the moment Javier has shown no signs of going," said Hodgson. "I work with him whenever I can. He came back fairly late from the World Cup and has been away on international duty.
"But I suppose I've had seven or eight training sessions with him now."
Fulham plan raid for Bellamy and Given
London: Mark Hughes is trying to sign Craig Bellamy on loan from Man City, insisting he would "bring the best" out of the striker at Fulham, and is monitoring the goalkeeper Shay Given's position at Eastlands with a view to allowing Mark Schwarzer to join Arsenal.
Fulham have contacted City about Roque Santa Cruz and Hughes intends to step up efforts to arrange a loan deal for Bellamy.
Wenger extends stay at Arsenal
London: Arsene Wenger has pledged his future to Arsenal, signing a three-year contract extension that will keep him at the Premier League club until the end of the 2013/14 season.
"My heart belongs to Arsenal and my desire is to see this team win silverware," he told Arsenal's website (www.arsenal.com) on Saturday.
"My commitment and drive are as strong and fresh as ever. I feel my personal position is that I am as motivated as ever, if not more," he said ahead of his team's opening match away to Liverpool on Sunday.
"I have the trust from my board and hopefully of the fans as well and also from the players," added the 60-year-old.
This season will see Wenger embarking on his 15th campaign in charge.