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Man City’s Van Persie pursuit must wait for striker moves

July 6, 2012

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• Club already have seven senior forwards on their books
• City hope to sell Emmanuel Adebayor and Roque Santa Cruz

Manchester City are not planning to test Arsenal’s resolve on Robin van Persie until they have trimmed several strikers from Roberto Mancini’s squad and their wage bill.

The Premier League champions are keen to sign the Holland international, whose decision not to sign a new contract with Arsenal has exposed the divisions between the club’s major shareholders, and accept there will be fierce competition from teams such as Juventus for the 28-year-old this summer.

City currently have seven forwards in their first team squad, however, and want to reduce that number before making a bid for Van Persie which, if successful, would add approximately another £200,000 to their weekly wage bill a year before Uefa’s financial fair play rules come into effect.

Mancini guided City to the title last season using four main strikers – Sergio Agüero, Mario Balotelli, Carlos Tevez and Edin Dzeko – and the club still have Emmanuel Adebayor, Roque Santa Cruz and Alex Tchuimeni-Nimely, the 21-year-old from Liberia, under contract. The trio were all sent on loan last season – Adebayor to Tottenham Hotspur, Santa Cruz to Real Betis and Tchuimeni-Nimely to Middlesbrough and Coventry City – and City are now looking for the Togo and Paraguay internationals to make a permanent exit.

Tottenham had been interested in an extended deal for Adebayor prior to André Villas-Boas’s appointment as manager but his £170,000-a-week salary presented an insurmountable obstacle, as it will do to most suitors unless the striker accepts a massive pay-cut or reaches a compromise with City.

Santa Cruz returned for pre-season training in Manchester this week and Betis remain in negotiations over his transfer but want the forward, signed by Mark Hughes for £17.5m in 2009, on a free. “We are optimistic about Roque until the day we say no,” said the Betis president, Miguel Guillén. “In the coming weeks we will be working on the matter with the aim of reaching an agreement.” Guillén also stated that Betis will seek alternative targets should they fail to reach a deal with City. Queens Park Rangers, no w managed by Hughes, may again be interested in Santa Cruz. Read More

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