BLUES TARGET TWIN BENFICA STARS
Manchester City to spend £75m on Di Maria, Luiz?
Manchester City are rumoured to have agreed to smash the British transfer record with a £40 million bid for Benfica winger Angel Di Maria.
And City are also happy to top up their vast outlay to Benfica by a further £35 million for highly-rated centre half David Luiz. Well-placed insiders have told ESPNsoccernet that they believe a £75 million bid for the Benfica pair will be successful, as it tops all previous offers from rival suitors.
Such spending further increases the suspicion that City have a transfer budget that could even blow Roman Abramovich out of the water. City are being consistently linked with moves for Liverpool pair Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard.
A summer outlay that could come close, or even surpass £200 million is not out of the question, particularly if they can beat Spurs on Wednesday to reach the Champions League and thus be more attractive to the pick of the world's best.
A Premier League transfer specialist told Soccernet on Monday evening: "The word is that Manchester City have already agreed £40m for the Argentine winger and £35m for the centre-half both from Benfica. Di Maria played well against Everton and also Liverpool, and while plenty of the biggest clubs want him, you will find City are willing to pay just that little bit more to get the players they want.
"They've got the money, and they are spending it, and of course you wouldn't be surprised if they went for Torres and Gerrard, but a lot will depend if they can reach the Champions League and we shall all know a lot more by the time they play Spurs on Wednesday at Eastlands."
The 22-year-old Argentina international winger put Everton to the sword in the Portuguese giants' 5-0 and 2-0 wins over the Toffees earlier this season. As a result he became one of Europe's hottest properties, wanted by Premier League giants Manchester United and Chelsea without Manchester City.
Luiz's impressive defensive displays have placed him on the summer shopping lists of Manchester United, Chelsea, Real Madrid and Barcelona so City have moved quickly to get in first, with a bid that none of the other clubs would be prepared to match for the 23 year-old. Luiz, who joined Benfica from Brazilian club Vitoria three years ago, has formed a strong pairing with compatriot Luisao at the heart of the defence though his considerable pace allows him to be equally comfortable at left back.
ESPN.com 3 de Maio de 2010 (http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story?id=781409&sec=transfers&cc=5739)
Man City eye world record deal for Benfica duo
(GSM) - Manchester City are preparing to spark summer transfer battle with Benfica by launching a world record £75million move for South American starlets Angel Di Maria and David Luiz.
The astonishing rumor is that City have already agreed a £40m fee with the Lisbon club for 22-year-old Argentina winger Di Maria, who plays on the left and would oust Craig Bellamy from being a first-team regular - leading to him being sold.
Not satisfied with that City are also believed to be negotiating for 23-year-old Brazilian defender Luiz and are set to blow away rivals Manchester United by signing him - potentially for £35m - which would be a world record for a defender.
Chelsea have also been strongly linked to Di Maria while reports in Lisbon today claim Juventus will bid £28m in the next few days once they know if Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez will take over after the Spaniard earmarked the Argentina wide man as a priority acquisition.
Soccerway.com 4 de Maio de 2010 (http://pt.soccerway.com/news/2010/May/04/man-city-eye-world-record-deal-for-benfica-duo/)