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City exodus under way

20 August 2010

Roberto Mancini has claimed City are done buying for the summer, which means it’s time for the players surplus to requirements at Eastlands to find new clubs.

“If Robinho, Shay or Roque want to stay, I’m happy because they are fantastic players, but it is most important the players are happy.”

-Roberto Mancini, speaking to The Times

Vladimir Weiss headed north to Glasgow yesterday for a season-long loan with Rangers. It would seem to be a great fit for Weiss. He should get many more games at Rangers than he did with Bolton while on loan there last season. The style of play in the Scottish Premier League (read: lots of crosses into the box) also should help the promising young Slovak develop his crossing game.

The big one that has captured the media’s attention is Robinho. While I had expressed my desire to see the Samba ace stay at City this season, it does appear that his relationship with the club is broken and he’ll be moving on. There were many media reports yesterday of a bid from Turkish side Beşiktaş — reportedly £16m, with add-ons rising to as much as £26m. However, it’s tough to see where Beşiktaş would be getting that kind of money. Today brings news that Lyon and Fenerbahçe have joined Schalke 04 in pursuit of Robinho.

All signs still point for an exit for Shay Given as well, with Mancini’s decision not to hand him a start against Timişoara possibly motivated by a desire to avoid cup-tying Given for European competitions. In a strange twist to the Given saga, the Irish netminder didn’t depart Romania for England with his teammates, but rather flew to Munich for treatment on the shoulder he injured back in the spring. Celtic remain very keen on Given, reportedly along with Arsenal and Fulham.

Roque Santa Cruz’s future at the club is very muddy. While City’s failure to land a target man like Zlatan Ibrahimović or Edin Džeko this summer leaves Jô as the only other striker fitting that description at the club, that doesn’t seem to have elevated the Paraguayan’s standing. Thanks to another injury-plagued campaign, should Santa Cruz be sold or loaned, City won’t get anywhere near the reported £17m they paid for him last summer. Interested clubs reportedly include Liverpool, Fulham, Stoke City, and West Ham — but not apparently Swansea City.

In possibly related news, Felipe Caicedo’s loan deal to West Ham is being held up while the Hammers make sure he’s the loanee they want to use their one remaining loan spot on.

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