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City line up Arteta as Ireland replacement

Manchester City are reported to be sniffing around Everton’s Mikel Arteta with £20m stuffed in their back pockets. The Spanish midfielder is seen as a ready-made replacement for the want-away Stephen Ireland who has handed in a transfer request.

Despite being voted City’s player of the year two seasons ago Ireland endured a frustrating campaign and is reported to be unhappy at not being an automatic choice for the first team ever since Roberto Mancini replaced Mark Hughes as manager back in January.

The Guardian claims that the Premier League’s richest club are willing to listen to offers for Irish midfielder with Arteta being lined up as a possible replacement. However, Everton may be reluctant to deal with City no matter how big the offer following the Joleon Lescott transfer saga last summer.

City have already secured Hamburg and Germany defender Jerome Boateng for £11m and look set to make Aston Villa an improved offer for James Milner after their initial £20m bid was rejected.

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