Feature: The Word On The Street
The Turkish giants would fulfill Anelka’s wish of playing European football - they face Real Zaragoza for a place in the last 32 of the UEFA Cup - but, according to the M.E.N, would have to find more than £7m to secure his services.
The 25-year-old is yet to have any talks with the Istanbul-based club, having spent the week at Carrington for treatment on back and groin injuries that kept him out of the last two matches against Arsenal and Oldham.
- The Mirror has reported that KK is lining up a loan-swap deal with Marseille, which would see either Pegguy Luyindula or Steve Marlet coming to City.
The French club do not have the £6m asking price, but are expected to accept a deal which allows them to offload one of their misfiring strikers, while running the rule over Anelka until the summer.
Keegan sent his chief scout to see Marseille play Lille on Tuesday, when Marlet scored in a 2-1 away win. Both are France internationals and have scored three league goals this season, but KK would favour Luyindula above Marlet as he is younger and the better prospect.
Anelka was mentioned as a Marseille replacement for Didier Drogba last summer, but they opted for Luyindula instead after he fired Lyon to their third straight title with 16 goals. Meanwhile, Marlet has improved since his days at Fulham, where he scored 11 goals in 50 league starts, and is in his second season on loan at Marseille.
City and Marseille agreed a similar deal last season involving Daniel Van Buyten and David Sommeil, which was a success for all concerned.
- Newcastle’s Evening Chronicle reckons that should City fail to agree a loan deal with Marseille, then Sylvain Distin will have to join the Magpies.
It reports KK has been told he can keep Distin providing he can get rid of Anelka, even if only on a temporary basis.
City need cash, and if they fail to lever Anelka off the wage bill, then they will have to flog their captain, as the Blues must cough up £5.5m to PSG in the next couple of weeks - the final payment for Anelka's transfer. It is no conincidence that is the latest figure that manager Graeme Souness has bid for Distin, 27, who remains their No.1 target.