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Transfer rumours gather pace

After it seemed that the Corluka stories had died down and he would perhaps remain a City player, rumours gathered apace yesterday (Saturday) morning as some newspaper reports suggested that the move to Tottenham would be completed prior to the season starting, and more fuel was added to the fire when it was reported that he did not feature in the team photograph, and was then left out the side for the final pre-season game against Milan.

It does seem inevitable that Corluka is on his way, and it is disappointing news given the impressive season he had last campaign and at 22 years of age, has plenty of upside ahead of him. However, the current financial situation at the club does appear such that at the very least we need to trim the wage bill and by a strange quirk, we have to sell Corluka in order to actually finish paying for him.

Given the quality we have in defence - and this season it appears that Ben Haim is set to partner Dunne in the centre with Richards at right back, Corluka to a degree does become expendable and if we have to sell then better it be a player such as that than an enforced sale such as Richards, Petrov or Elano which would the side far more.

Having said that, it is a sad state that we find ourself in if finances are such that we are being forced into sanctioning a couple of sales to balance the books, and is something that the press are beginning to prick their ears up about as they sniff around for a headline or two.

Another player who could be on his way is Stephen Ireland. Rumours linking him to Sunderland again surfaced this weekend - partly like the Corluka scenario where it is a player who could be expendable but perhaps also because Mark Hughes does not see him fitting into the side, and he was again left out of the side yesterday (with TV later indicating he was initially told to stay away from the game).

Ireland for me is an undoubted talent - despite all his quirks and slightly odd behaviour, and whilst his progress has been somewhat steady, I do believe that given his still young age he has plenty ahead of him and whilst £5 million may well be a decent return, further ahead we could look back on a sale with a great deal of regret.

One player who appears to be staying though (for now at least) is Rolando Bianchi. The club turned down a bid from Torino which would see him move to Turin on loan with a £2 million option at the end of the season. Rumours now link him with a potential move to Genoa as it seems inevitable that he will not be with his this season and I think the only reason a move has not gone through so far is that we are trying to recoup as much of our initial outlay back for him.

An interesting week all in all then as instead of new arrivals coming into the club with season just around the corner, we are having to face the prospect of players heading out of the exit door. Not an ideal start, and with the political and financial problems for our owner ever increasing, it is with a sense of aprehension that we head towards the season with.