Silva signing shows our title ambition, says Mancini

MANCHESTER CITY manager Roberto Mancini believes the signing of David Silva is a statement of the club’s intent ahead of the new Barclays Premier League season.

The Eastlands club confirmed the signing of the winger from Valencia on a four-year contract yesterday for a fee believed to be in the region of £25 million (€30.5m).

The 24-year-old Spain international will have a medical upon his return from the World Cup in South Africa when the transfer will be formally completed.

City narrowly missed out on a Champions League place last season, and Mancini believes Silva can help his side challenge for the title this time around.

“I think that David Silva is one of the best midfielders in Europe, and I hope he will be a very important player for Manchester City,” the Italian said. “I am so pleased he is coming to us, I think he can make a big, big impact for Manchester City.

“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 what is happening at Manchester City and the ambition, they are attracted to what we are building and want to be a part of it.”

City are again expected to be highly active in the transfer market this summer and a deal for Barcelona midfielder Yaya Toure is also thought to be close.

Silva, who has surprisingly featured just once to date in Spain’s World Cup campaign, is delighted to have secured a switch to the English top flight and also thanked Valencia, the club he has been with since joining the youth ranks at the age of 14.

He said: “I have enjoyed six years at Valencia, they discovered me as a footballer and they will always be a special club for me.

“The time is right for me to seek a new challenge, and I am thrilled about playing in England with Manchester City.

“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.’’

Elsewhere Portugal full-back Fabio Coentrao says he would be happy to leave Benfica if the club get an offer they can’t refuse want to sell him at the right price.

It is thought Bayern Munich and Manchester City have entered the race to sign the 22-year-old, but Benfica have rejected their offers, believed to be under €20m.

Juventus and Real Madrid are also believed to be interested in the player but Benfica president Luis Filipe Vieira is holding out for the club’s valuation of at least €30m.

But the player says if the club do finally receive an offer they are happy with, he would be happy to leave for pastures new.

Coentrao said: “If a bid is positive for the club, I will accept the exit.

“I am at a big club but is normal that I desire to improve like a professional.’’

Meanwhile Felipe Melo’s agent has insisted the Brazilian is focused solely on the World Cup rather than his club future.

The midfielder has been linked with a move away from Juventus after a difficult first year with the club.

Inter Milan have expressed an interest, while some impressive performances with his country in South Africa could attract more attention.

It is unclear whether Melo figures in the plans of new Juve manager Luigi Del Neri, but if he is allowed to leave it will only be for a high price.

“Now the player is in South Africa and is focused on the World Cup,’’ the 27-year-old’s representative Emiliano Froldi said.

“The future? Juventus has changed leadership and is planning for the future. Last year Felipe Melo cost €18m plus (Marco) Marchionni and (Cristiano) Zanetti, so I cannot say his exact cost. Juventus will decide it.’’


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