Today sees the Lazio president Claudio Lotito confirm the signing of Javier Garrido rather quicker than he released Aleksandar Kolarov. The Spanish left-back is due to replace Kolarov at Lazio for an undisclosed fee, believed to be around £2m. This gives us a rare transfer profit with the player having been signed for £1.5m from Real Sociedad.
“Garrido is a Lazio player. He was our first choice to replace Kolarov.” (after deals for Luca Antonelli and Nadir Belhadj failed to materialise)
This quick deal is particularly good for City as it’s a step in getting the senior squad down to 25. There’s been a lot of talk about clubs looking to take advantage of our situation by snapping up the likes of Craig Bellamy for bargain prices. The closer our squad is to 25, the stronger our negotiating hand becomes when dealing with buying clubs.
The anticipated signing of Mario Balotelli remains anticipated. Everyone expects a deal to be concluded eventually, but nobody knows when – except maybe Mino Raiola, the agent of Balotelli.
When Balotelli acquired the services of Raiola in March, Inter feared that the teenager would soon be on the move. The agent had previously overseen the transfers of Maxwell and Ibrahimovic to Barca. With the Ibra deal being one of the most extravagent on record it should come as no surprise that Raiola is trying to extract as much as possible out of City.
After reports that Raiola has returned to Italy following talks in Manchester yesterday, there’s an interesting piece on FC Inter News. They report that City are balking at paying an extra 800,000 euros a year demanded by Raiola and he’s returned to Inter to ask if they can reduce the fee City will pay, with the money instead going to the player/agent.
This would explain the agent returning to Italy to conclude the deal. Raiola claims of Balotelli:
“He’s calm but anxious to come to an agreement, that’s normal for a lad of 19. We’re working and we’re hoping.”
Well if anyone can help relieve Mario’s anxiety, it’s probably you Mino.
After Yaya Toure’s agent, Dimitri Seluk dragging out his signing for the maximum financial gain, and Lazio’s president doing likewise with Kolarov, it looks like City are in the same situation again. The deal was expected to be concluded by the time City play Inter on Saturday night. Raiola may have other ideas.
Two inquiries for Roque Santa Cruz so far: Stoke, as my @guardian_sport colleague Stuart James revealed this week, and Fenerbahce #MCFC