Aiden McGeady is pushing Spartak Moscow to allow him to move to the English Premier League with Sunderland.
The Republic of Ireland winger has made no secret of his ambition to play at the top level of the English game, with the opportunity to work again with Martin O'Neill a particular attraction.
O'Neill introduced the then-teenage McGeady to first-team football at Celtic in 2004 and is planning to combine him with Steven Fletcher in his new Sunderland attack should both transfers be pushed through.
Earlier this week, Fletcher requested that relegated Wolverhampton Wanderers accept the Sunderland's £12 million (Dh68.4m) offer for his services.
Sunderland had also been considering an approach to Manchester City for John Guidetti following the young centre forward's prolific season on loan at Feyenoord. Guidetti, however, has yet to fully recover from a virus-induced leg paralysis that prevented him from representing Sweden at Euro 2012 and the bid has been halted.
McGeady, 26, joined Spartak in 2010 for a fee of just less than £10m. Though an influential figure in the Moscow club's Champions League qualification, he suffered public criticism from his coach and was left out of the side for several games last March.
Asked about his future at Spartak ahead of the European Championship, McGeady said: "I had a few issues, but I had a great end to the season. So I am happy there just now. I still have ambitions to play in England or wherever. I wouldn't want to stay there past my contract."
Spartak are reluctant to sell the Glaswegian as they work on defensive reinforcements ahead of the Champions League play-off round. A €12m (Dh54m) offer for Tunisia centre back Aymen Abdennour has been rejected by Toulouse.
Elsewhere, City have been warned they will have to table “a monstrous bid” if they are to have any hope of landing the Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi.
The remark came from Roma’s sporting director Gabriele Sabatini, who has been forced to clarify comments the club would listen to offers for the 29 year old. Speaking at a news conference yesterday, Sabatini said: “I never said De Rossi is not unsellable.
“If a monstrous bid materialised we would evaluate it, but we are not looking for buyers for Daniele because he is a pillar of our team.
“For us he is a player of extraordinary importance and not replaceable, so it would be too difficult to do a deal even if there was an indecent proposal.
“We have not set a price for De Rossi. Fiorentina ask €30m for [Stefan] Jovetic? The figure for Daniele is higher than that.”
Earlier this week, The National revealed Roberto Mancini, the City manager, was still keen to bring De Rossi to the Etihad Stadium but that the club were not willing to pay a significant sum for the player, given his limited resale value.
Scott Parker, the Tottenham Hotspur midfielder, will miss at least the first month of the season after surgery on his Achilles.
“Scott Parker has undergone successful surgery to his right Achilles,” a club statement said. “The midfielder is expected to return to training after the international break in September.”
Liverpool have informed Swansea they are ready to pay the £15m fee to trigger the release clause in Joe Allen’s contract.
Brendan Rodgers, the Liverpool manager, has long been a keen admirer of the 22 year old, and the Welsh club have already rejected an offer worth £12.5m.
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