Manchester City have reached an agreement with Valencia to sign David Silva, the Spanish international, and are confident of bolstering their squad even further with the acquisition of Yaya Toure from Barcelona. City are in advanced talks with the Ivory Coast midfielder, whose older brother, Kolo, is the club captain, and expect to make him their third signing of the summer.
The Primera Liga champions are satisfied with the fee agreed with City, but the move has been held up due to the change in leadership at Camp Nou. Sandro Rosell, the newly-elected Barcelona president, will officially take office today having been elected last month and one of his first acts will be to sanction Toure's departure. Silva was yesterday announced as City's second recruit of the summer, following the signing of Jerome Boateng, the versatile German defender from Hamburg last month, when he agreed a four-year contract with the club.
"The time is right for me to seek a new challenge, and I am thrilled about playing in England with Manchester City," Silva told City's official website. "I always hoped to come to City and I am excited about my future there. "They are a club with a great future with fantastic players. I want to be an important player. "I believe the Premier League is one of the best competitions in the world and I want to bring success to City and win trophies for them."
Silva, 24, is in South Africa as part of the Spain squad preparing for Saturday's World Cup quarter-final against Paraguay. He has only featured in one match during the tournament, playing the first hour of Spain's surprise 1-0 loss to Switzerland in their opening Group H game. He will have a medical and sign for City at the end of his World Cup commitments. City did not disclose Silva's transfer fee but Valencia had made it clear their asking price was ?30million (Dh134million).
Silva can play as a midfielder or winger, and has been a regular for Valencia since breaking into the Primera Liga side's first team at the age of 20. He scored 21 goals in 119 appearances. Roberto Mancini, the City manager, said the capture of Silva was a sign the club would be serious challengers for the Premier League title this season. "Silva is one of the best midfielders in Europe, and I hope he will be a very important player for City," he said.
"I am pleased he is coming to us, he can make a big impact. In signing David, we are showing the world that we are bringing the best players here and that we hope to compete to win the Premier League. When players see the ambition they are attracted to what we are building and want to be a part of it." Meanwhile, Mark Hughes, City's former manager, has reportedly turned down the chance to take over the Pro League club Al Ahli.
Sky Sports in Britain claimed that Hughes, who was in Dubai earlier this week, had been asked to take over the helm at the 2008/09 league champions, but that he had rejected the opportunity. Ahli officials yesterday declined to comment on the link with the former Manchester City manager. firstname.lastname@example.org