Blues said to be looking at Belhanda
- Tue 08 May 2012, 9:16AM
- Posted by Tim Oscroft
City continue to be linked with top talent from around the globe regardless of the state of our tilt at title glory.
Eden Hazard's name has cropped up many times of late, but the Mail follow up their recent story on his alleged look at Cheshire property with a claim that we are looking at an alternative.
Younes Belhanda is the latest name to conjure with, as Ian Ladyman writes: "Manchester City have identified young Moroccan forward Younes Belhanda as a fall back option if they can't land No 1 summer target Eden Hazard this summer.
"City are currently struggling to meet Hazard's high wage demands after a two-month pursuit of the Belgian.
"Staff from the Barclays Premier League leaders gave the 21-year-old Lille player a tour of exclusive property in Cheshire after inviting him to last week's Manchester derby victory over United at the Etihad Stadium
"Sportsmail understands, however, that City manager Roberto Mancini does not want the saga to drag on all summer and has earmarked 22-year-old Belhanda as another possibility as he looks to beef up his squad for next season."
The Telegraph's Henry Winter likes what he sees of a new Manchester City and the spirit that has carried us so close to glory.
"City are also the club of a 26-year-old community department, of good citizens such as Vincent Kompany and Micah Richards.
"When critics talk of the riches spent in edging City towards a first title in 44 years, they should remember the richness of character in Roberto Mancini’s dressing room.
"Take Kompany. At last Thursday’s end-of-season dinner, the polite Belgian stepped up to collect his award as Community Player of the Year, a prize given to the player who has contributed most to the club’s assorted schemes. Kompany is captain sensible, speaking sense in six languages, as happy discussing world affairs with Etihad staff as chatting to fans about the team."
But of course Sunday is edging over the horizon, and Djibril Cisse is in the Sporting Life and elsewhere with a view on how Mark Hughes might still have a say in where the title goes.
"Many think the Welshman was unfortunate to lose his job after a tumultuous period at the club that included Sheikh Mansour's multi-million pound takeover.
"Cisse thinks Hughes, a former fans' favourite at Manchester United, will not be motivated by revenge but still thinks it would be nice for Rangers to triumph over City after the way his manager was treated.
"'That would be sweet revenge for him,' Cisse said.
"'I don't think he is thinking about this - his main concern is to keep QPR up - but it will be sweet for him.'"