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City to step up defender hunt

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City will step up their efforts to purchase Joleon Lescott this week or Matthew Upson from Westham. With less than a week to go before the start of the season Hughes wants to add at least one defender to the squad.

Hughes recognises that time is running out to sign Lescott from Everton, with two bids rejected for the defender City are likely to submit one more bid early this week. Hughes said of the situation:

"We have to make a decision on any player we are pursuing, if we feel a certain deal has run its course, we will look elsewhere. Whether we have reached that stage with Joleon, only time will tell. Obviously, we can do deals right to the end of the transfer window. However, we would prefer to do our business as quickly as possible, ideally by the end of this week."

Everton manager David Moyes is still adamant that no players will be sold during this transfer window, claiming that unlike the press this summer he has been consistent in saying that no player will be leaving and that is currently the case.

David Moyes on Lescott

Everton Chairman Bill Kenwright told sky sports news that he expects Lescott to be at Everton “at the start of the season”, not ruling out a transfer in a future window. However, with Everton to miss defender Yobo during January for the African Nations tournament the sale of Lescott at the beginning of the January transfer window seems unlikely.

Manchester City will also be missing defender Kolo Toure during January and will want a defender in place to cover any injuries before then. If the new Lescott bid is rejected this week then City will turn their attentions to England Defender Matthew Upson from West Ham.
30-year-old Upson signed for West Ham in 2007 from Birmingham City for £6 million. It may take an offer of £10 million to take him to Manchester City. The Mail on Sunday today claims that West Ham need to raise £10 million before the end of the transfer window as the club are in financial difficulty. A deal for the England international would therefore be a realistic possibility.

In April Upson himself said that he would be prepared to leave West Ham at the end of the season in order to increase his chances of landing a place in the England squad for the world cup. At the time Zola said of Upson: “Matthew Upson has been incredible. He is one of the players we will rely on a lot in the future. We will talk to him and see that he can be happy staying here.” Zola then announced that Upson has been made captain for the forth coming campaign in an attempt to satisfy Upson’s ambition. However with the club in financial difficulty a bid would have to be seriously considered.

City may face competition for the players signature from Aston Villa and his previous club Arsenal. Upson may favour Arsenal if they were to make a bid as he will not have to relocate from London and he will have the opportunity to play Champions league football this season, which is one of his major ambitions. He may feel that time is running out on his career to take a gamble on Manchester City reaching the champions league this year.


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