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Unread 27-05-2010, 08:10 PM
fred tissue
Default Manchester City target £35m Edin Dzeko from Wolfsburg

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• Striker has scored 54 goals in 94 games for German club
• City intent on signing striker but have given up on Torres

Manchester City have targeted Edin Dzeko, the prolific Wolfsburg striker, among the potential summer transfers they anticipate could turn them into authentic title contenders next season.

Dzeko, the scorer of 54 goals in 94 games for his club, has a £35m release clause in his contract and City are deliberating about whether to meet that price or wait until it expires on Monday night and try to get him for less.

As yet, formal talks have not opened between the two clubs, but there have been several inquiries behind the scenes. Wolfsburg are aware of City's interest and the story was leaked in Germany today, possibly as a way of attracting other potential buyers for a player who has been linked with many of the biggest clubs in Europe.

Dzeko, the top scorer in last season's Bundesliga with 22 goals, is keen to move to the Premier League and City regard the Bosnian international as a potential partner for Carlos Tevez in a move that would have obvious ramifications for Emmanuel Adebayor.

Adebayor had an erratic first season in Manchester and the City manager, Roberto Mancini, is not entirely convinced that the former Arsenal striker is influential enough to demand a first-team place next season, despite being the best-paid player at the club now that Robinho's wages are being met by Santos, where he is currently on loan.

Roque Santa Cruz could also be leaving City this summer after an unsuccessful, injury-ravaged spell and Craig Bellamy has attracted interested from a number of clubs, most notably Tottenham Hotspur. Robinho, the transfer-record signing, has repeatedly made it clear he does not want to return to City when his loan expires in August.

City have already put in place an £11m deal for Hamburg's Germany international defender Jerome Boateng and are still confident of signing James Milner from Aston Villa despite an initial offer of £20m being rejected. Bankrolled by the immense wealth of the Abu Dhabi United Group, City have also targeted Mikel Arteta, Everton's Spanish midfielder, with the football administrator, Brian Marwood, apparently very much in control of identifying and recruiting new signings rather than Mancini.

City had been hoping to bring in an established superstar, but their failure to qualify for the Champions League has seen them marginally lower their expectations and they have abandoned any hope of convincing the Liverpool forward Fernando Torres to move to Manchester.

The club's wish-list is described as "fluid", but currently does not include Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Barcelona or Sergio Agüero of Atlético Madrid.

Daniel Taylor

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