In lieu of anything else of any particular significance happening in the footballing sphere this morning, several organs of the national press are going big with the story that Carlos Tevez isn’t the only uppity striker to file a written transfer request at Manchester City with the news that Wolfsburg’s towering target man Edin Dzeko personally drafted a personal plea to join the Eastlands revolution over the summer.
Both the Guardian and the Daily Mail are claiming that Dzeko sent an olde-time letter to a high-ranking City executive (thought to be chief exec. Gary Cook) back in August, after learning that the Premier League side had tempered their interest in him since failing to persuade Wolfsburg to lower their prohibitive £45 million valuation.
True, Dzeko is a perfectly serviceable forward with a fair old goal record in the German top flight to boot, but I’m sorry, not never no how has he ever been worth £45 million – nor £30 million (the value of City’s purported bid) for that matter.
Anywho, the prolific Bosnian forward is thought to have expressed his admiration for City’s high-rolling ‘project’ and a particularly whiffy line of fawning gratitude for the club’s continued interest in acquiring his services.
According to the Guardian‘s yarn, City are now planning to use Dzeko’s now-publicised desire to leave the Bundesliga as a bartering chip in their ongoing efforts to undermine Wolfsburg’s resolve to keep hold of their chief asset, and have made the 6’3” forward their ‘main January transfer priority’ as a result:
“City are now hoping to reach a compromise fee with Wolfsburg to resurrect the deal.
It may still need some prolonged negotiating, with the German club having obvious misgivings about losing such an important player in the middle of the Bundesliga season.
But City are increasingly optimistic after inviting some of Dzeko’s representatives to watch the Manchester derby last month and showing them round their training ground.”
And the Mail are taking a similar tack, though the rag are refracting the speculation through a distinctly Tevez-shaped prism:
“City boss Roberto Mancini told his board several weeks ago that he was keen to try again for Dzeko in January as it became clear to him that Emmanuel Adebayor, Jo and Roque Santa Cruz were not proving good enough.
The recent developments regarding Tevez have only hardened Mancini’s belief that he needs another forward and it is known that City have now made the acquisition of Dzeko their top priority regardless of whether Tevez leaves next month.”
There are also whispers that Mancini may be keen to play Dzeko alongside Tevez in a ‘little and large-style’ configuration (should the gobby Argentinian be retained come February), but that particular strand of conjecture can be immediately rendered obsolete as it would entail two strikers being fielded at the same time – which is exactly the kind of reckless attacking progression that would see the Italian coach melt into a fizzing puddle on the edge of his technical area.
As a quick aside, I’d like to issue a swift R.I.P on behalf of everyone at Soccerlens to former Nottingham Forest and Rushden goalkeeper Dale Roberts, who died at the tragically young age of 24 yesterday.