● Mark Hughes has made his first signing since taking over at Manchester City. Brazilian striker Jo has signed a four-year deal at the club for a record-breaking fee of £19 million from CSKA Moscow.
● City have been drawn against EB/Streymur in the first qualifying round of the UEFA Cup. The team is based in the Faroe Islands, with the first leg being played away on Thursday July 17th and the second leg being played at Oakwell, home of Barnsley, on Thursday July 31st.
● City have released four senior players from the club. These are Paul Dickov, Emily Mpenza, Geovanni and Sun Jihai.
● City goalkeeper Andreas Isaksson has left the club in a move to PSV Eindhoven on a four-year deal.
● The blues have confirmed another pre-season friendly, this time against Scottish side Celtic. The game will be played at Parkhead on Wednesday August 6, kick off 7:45pm.
● Finally, and perhaps the best news of all, is that skipper Richard Dunne has put pen to paper and has signed a four-year deal with City. The Irishman has ended months of speculation about his career by stating his commitment to the blues.
I can’t really comment on the Jo signing as I haven’t seen him in action but £19 million is obviously a lot of money. The Ronaldinho rumour bandwagon continues to rumble on but the transfer is looking less likely. I am delighted with Dunne finally agreeing a deal with the club; he is such an influential figure and a very talented defender. The UEFA Cup tie on paper should be a doddle, but we must treat EB/Streymur with the upmost respect and it goes without saying that is a win is the only option.
The results of my last poll are in. I asked who you would most like to see Hughes sign for City. 43% of you said, after impressing in the recent Euro 2008 tournament, that Bayern Munich striker Lukas Podolski would be the best option. Interestingly, 0% of you voted for Jo. Hmmmmm.
The latest poll is open now, so get voting. Not long to go now until pre-season begins. I am very excited. It’s going to be emotional.
Also, I recently took part in a period of work experience at BBC Radio Manchester and I would like to thank Ian Cheeseman and Mark Elliott for their time, help and advice. It was certainly an insight into the industry and I hope to visit Oxford Road again.
Best blue wishes,