Dzeko 'didn't want to join Manchester City'
Published 23:00 06/01/11 By David McDonnell
Edin Dzeko has stunned Manchester City by saying they were his second-choice club - he would rather have joined Juventus.
Dzeko, who is on the brink of completing a £27million move from German side Wolfsburg to City, had his sights set on joining Juve but saw his dream move fall through because of Serie A rules.
Italian clubs are only allowed to sign one non-EU player per season and, with the Turin giants having already bought Serbia winger Milos Krasic, it meant Dzeko would not have been able to join them until the summer.
Dzeko’s agent, Giacomo Petralito, said the 24-year-old striker was so desperate to leave Wolfsburg immediately he accepted City’s offer, even though they were not his first choice.
“Juventus could have signed Dzeko, but he didn’t want to wait until June,” said Petralito. “The clubs had already reached an agreement that Edin would be allowed to move in January.
“But the absurd rules of the Italian FA prevented the move from happening. Edin would have preferred Juventus, so much so that he would have been prepared to accept less money.
“Edin was prepared to reduce his salary by £500,000 to play in Italy. But he had to leave Wolfsburg immediately, in January, and he couldn’t wait until June, especially after having had an argument with the management.
“What has prevented the transfer of the player is the rule imposed in Italy about non-EU players. Juve already have one in Krasic and they could not have taken another.”
Dzeko’s move to CIty has been held up issue over visa and work permit problems, with the Bosnia international having already passed a medical when he arrived in London on Wednesday.
The forward has returned to Germany, pending the outcome of his visa and work permit clearance, and is expected to sign a five-year deal worth £120,000-a-week early next week.
City came in for criticism for their negative approach in Wednesday’s 0-0 draw at Arsenal, with Roberto Mancini’s side playing for a point that consolidated second position behind Manchester United.
But Vincent Kompany, whom City assistant boss Brian Kidd has hailed as the best centre-half in the Premier League this season, feels they deserve praise for shutting out the Gunners.
“I thought we were aggressive at Arsenal, but we were clever as well,” said Kompany. “Some people might ask: ‘Why didn’t they try to win the game?’
“But if we don’t lose against the top four teams in away games, and we beat the so-called lesser teams at home... you make the calculation.
“If we win our home games and don’t lose our top away games, I think we’re going to be up there. And if the title is within reach, then why not?
“Clearly, at the moment, Manchester United are favourites, because they have two games in hand and there will be a difference in points if they win those games.
“But I look at the Arsenal game and I see that our team is very hard to beat - and if you’re a team that doesn’t lose, that’s half the job done already, so why not?”
Kidd also defended City against criticism of their perceived negative tactics.
“The lads stuck at it and we could easily have capitulated and gone under,” said Kidd.
“But we didn’t. The boss is building his own team here and by no stretch of the imagination does he restrict anybody. He wants people to go forward. He expects people to work hard and we look to improve.
“Arsenal is a tough place to go to. They’ve been doing terrifically this season. The solidity we showed and the fight and character was great. If we keep getting clean sheets I think we’ll win more games than we’ll draw.”