Man City launch £20million deadline day move for Real Madrid star
Published 23:00 31/01/10 By John Cross and Alan Nixon
Big spending Manchester City are set to make a beat-the-deadline £20m offer for Real Madrid midfielder Fernando Gago.
Gago’s agent Marcello Lombilla says City have been in touch and made it clear they are still in the hunt for the Argentinian midielder.
Lombilla said: “Manchester City will present a formal offer to Real Madrid on Monday and then the decision is up to Real Madrid and we are awaiting an answer.”
City boss Roberto Mancini has already had one £17m offer turned down but is still keen to strengthen his midfield before the window shuts.
Real Madrid insist they do not want to sell but mega-rich City have got money to spend and are hoping one last try may persuade Real Madrid to sell.
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez, director Jorge Valdano and sporting director Miguel Pardez are set to discuss whether to sell if City follow through and make a last minute offer.
City also want to seal a £6million deal for Middlesbrough winger Adam Johnson today - and beat Chelsea to his in-demand signature.
City wheeler-dealer Brian Marwood is close to winning the race as Boro lose their grip on the home-grown starlet who has told them he is keen to speak to City despite some major rival interest.
Johnson is seen as a pacey wide man who could even make Roberto Mancini's side - and the youngster is interested in taking his chances and picking up a monster contract.
Boro hoped to do a deal with a club to sell Johnson now and loan him back - or agree a fee and then sign him in the summer. Chelsea were keen on that arrangement.
However City have demanded that they get their target now and talks over the size of the fee went on yesterday. Johnson has made it plain that he will not be staying and would prefer to take his Premier League chance now.
Johnson wants to have the final say in his destination and pals say he fancies City above all other clubs. Sunderland were favourites for him but their alarming dip in form has undermined their chances.
Chelsea are the main rivals for Johnson's signature, but the fact that they were willing to send him back to Boro on loan has not sent out the right signals to the player.
Boro will use the cash to give Gordon Strachan funds for a couple of players before the window shuts. He wants to sign Striker Scott McDonald from Celtic and is also chasing Bolton centre half Danny Shittu.
Strachan is also making a desperate deadline bid to snatch Kyle Naughton from Tottenham on loan
Mancini has completed the signing of McDonald Mariga from Parma.
The Kenyan midfielder is joining Manchester City in a £7million package, which involves Valeri Bojinov making his loan move to Parma permanent.