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Summer sales start now!

Well, the first player move of the summer has occured and it was no suprise really as Jon Macken moves onto Crystal Palace for a fee in the region of £1 million. Rumours had been circulating for the last couple of weeks regarding Macken and with just a year remaining on his contract represents a better return than I expected for a player who in his three seasons with City has not really justified the £4.5 million price tag Kevin Keegan paid for him, and in truth looked some way short of being Premiership class. He was a 'trier' and held the line well with a decent touch, but lacked real pace and was never a 'finisher' like Fowler or Anelka.
However, we wish him well at Palace as they look to bounce back from their relegation and we'll always thank him for that goal against Spurs in the Cup.
It has definitely been rumour week around City with a couple of notable names linked with moves away and a couple of foreign strikers linked with moves into the club.
Danny Mills name has been mentioned as a possible departee with both Blackburn and newly promoted Sunderland. Mills came over from Leeds and commands both a long and expensive contract which we could really do without as he lost his place to Nedum Onouah towards the end of the season and doesn't strike as offering anything that Onouha can't (apart from getting booed by every opposing supporter. He has never been a favourite of mine and I'd be happy to take a fairly nominal fee for him to clear him and his wages off the books. One move which could scupper this is the possible destination of Tranmere right-back Ryan Taylor who Blackburn are also interested in as well as ourselves. He has posted a decent campaign in Tranmere's play-off run and a fee of around £500k would fit in well with our limited transfer kitty if we can fend off Blackburn and win the race for him.
Captain Sylvain Distin has also been linked with a move away, this time with Aston Villa linked with him, and their chairman Doug Ellis has certainly done nothing to quash theres rumours, admitting they are interested although no formal offer has been made so far. Fan opinion is generally split on the issue of whether we should cash in on Distin with a section of fans believing if we got an offer in the region of £6m+ then we should cash in. I think if we were to cash in on him it would be a mistake as he rebounded from from a poor 03/04 campaign to put in a solid season alongside Richard Dunne during the last campaign, and at present we only have young Nedum Onouha who could realistically step in.
With Macken's departure, much of the focus on potential newcomers has been the forward position. First name mentioned this week was veteran Portuguese and PSG striker Pauletta who is believed to be available on a free transfer. As he is now 32 years old, he would be a very short term option, but with his experience could be ideal to bridge the gap before Bradley Wright-Phillips and the other young strikers at the club are ready to stake a claim for a full-time position.
The next striker mentioned this was Lens' Nigerian international John Utaka. Admittedly, I don't know too much about this guy but his record in le Championnat is good and he is still only 23. It appears unlikely that we will sign him though as SC Rennes are believed to have offered £5 million for him and Lens believe the speculation around a move for him is being engineered to get him an improved contract.
The potential new signings rumoured so far all seem to be following a set pattern in that they are foreign players, around the 30 years old mark and costing little or next to nothing. These are frugal times at City and Stuart Pearce has a lot of owrk to put in over the summer as he bids to add some depth and quality to the squad.
As it is the end of the season now, I feel it is only fair that I follow the footballers lifestyle and will be getting my arse over to Ibiza tomorrow for the next week so the next posting to the site will be in a couple of weeks or so. Here's hoping for Premier League style shenanigans then - just hope it is more Kieron Dyer than Alan Shearer!