Football Rumours: Roberto Mancini targeting Barcelona star Sergio Busquets
ROBERTO Mancini’s Manchester City are lining up a summer swoop for Barcelona’s Sergio Busquets – but his release clause is more than �100m.
The 24-year-old is one of the world’s most highly-rated midfielders but his release clause is a staggering �121m.
However, City are confident they can land their man for less than half that because he is unhappy in Spain.
The reigning Premier League champions are prepared to make Busquets their top transfer target next summer and have already made tentative enquiries about him.
But by the end of the season he will only have two years left on his contract and Mancini is quietly confident he can snap up the influential playmaker according to today’s reports.
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Elsewhere, Brendan Rodgers will not make a �20m bid for Chelsea striker Daniel Sturridge, 23, but the Liverpool manager is interested in a deal if he is allowed to take him on loan to begin with.
Sturridge has been strongly linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge in the New Year, after refusing an extension to his current contract, which has 18 months left to run.
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The new Anfield boss has made clear his determination to bring in another striker in January after missing out in the last hours of the summer window, and then losing Fabio Borini to injury last week, leaving just Luis Suarez as his only senior option.
Meanwhile, Manchester United midfielder Nani, 25, is being targeted by AC Milan as the Italian giants look to secure a cut-price �12m deal to take the player to the San Siro next summer.
Back in the capital, Chelsea are considering making another move for Marseille striker Loic Remy, 25, in January as a possible replacement for Sturridge, while Chelsea target Neymar, 20, has put the Premier League on red alert after revealing he wants to learn English.
Elsewhere, Arsenal defender Johan Djourou is a �6m January target for Napoli, while Shay Given admits he is frustrated after being axed by new Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert.
Back in Manchester, Roma’s Daniele De Rossi is back on the Manchester City hitlist.
And finally, Birmingham boss Lee Clark fears he could be sacked if the club get new owners.