x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

With striker Tevez on hold, Man City sign Savic to bolster defence

The ambitious Premier League club complete their second transfer in three days after defender joins Eastlands club from Partizan Belgrade.

Savic shows off his new Manchester City jersey at Old Trafford.
Savic shows off his new Manchester City jersey at Old Trafford.

LONDON // Manchester City completed the transfer of defender Stefan Savic from Partizan Belgrade today, signing the Montenegrin on a four-year contract.

Savic, 20, joined City after immigration paperwork was approved by the British Home Office and is the club's second signing this week following the acquisition of Arsenal defender Gael Clichy on Monday.

The formalities were completed quietly after Carlos Tevez ticked off the chatter boxes at Eastlands by repeating his desire to leave, this time in a more emphatic fashion than December, but without submitting any official transfer request. Understandably, City officials are under no pressure to see him exit out of his contract with three years remaining.

Savic had previously been on trial with Arsenal but heads to Eastlands after Gunners manager Arsene Wenger passed on the opportunity to sign him.

Roberto Mancini, the City manager, has pinpointed the club's defence as a key area for strengthening as his side attempts to build on last season, where they won the FA Cup and qualified for the Champions League.

Savic said he believed his transition would be made easier because of the presence of Serbia's Aleksandar Kolarov and the Bosnian striker Edin Dzeko at City.

"It is a dream come true and I am especially looking forward to meeting Edin and Aleksandar because they both speak my language and come from the Balkans, too," said Savic.

"Aleks has already phoned me to welcome to City which makes me feel at home already.

"I watch the Premier League all the time. I know it's the place to be so I am just looking forward to helping this club achieve great things.

"We have an incredible stadium and I've seen how passionate the City fans are many times on TV.

"I am just really happy to be a City player."

Lavezzi on Mancini's radar

City have been in talks with Napoli with a view to signing Ezequiel Lavezzi, according to the manager Roberto Mancini’s agent.

The Argentina international striker has been strongly linked with a move to the Premier League this summer, with City and Liverpool reported to be interested in his services.

The 26-year-old Lavezzi could be an ideal replacement in the event Tevez is granted his wish to leave.

Mancini’s agent, Giorgio De Giorgis, spoke about the pursuit of Lavezzi and even claimed Gareth Barry, the England midfielder, could be a makeweight in the deal.

He told Radio CRC: “Manchester City’s interest in Lavezzi could be a reality. [City] has been negotiating for the past few months with Napoli, regardless of Tevez’s situation. City has spoken to Napoli about Pocho [Lavezzi].

“But €31 million (Dh162.2m) for Lavezzi, I think it’s excessive.

“However, to find a player who is ready like Pocho is, it’s not easy. Manchester City could include a player in the deal, but I don’t know what player could interest Napoli. The only one could be Barry, who is an England international and does not have a high salary.”

Lavezzi is under contract with Napoli until June 2015 and has a release clause of €30m. Napoli, like City, will play in next season’s Champions League.

Liverpool take Blackpool's Charlie Adam

Liverpool have reached a deal for Blackpool's Charlie Adam and will sign the Scotland midfielder if he passes a medical.

The 25 year old excelled for Blackpool in the club's lone season in the Premier League and was close to joining Tottenham Hotspur in the January transfer window. Blackpool were relegated in May.

Adam would be Liverpool's second signing since it finished sixth last season following Jordan Henderson's arrival from Sunderland.