Hamann's heading for Manchester City

July 11, 2006

Dietmar Hamann will complete one of the shortest transfers in Premiership history on Wednesday when he joins Manchester City from Bolton Wanderers.

The German midfielder has been coveted by both north-west clubs ever since it became apparent he was surplus to requirements at Liverpool, despite having a year remaining on his Anfield contract.

At one point, it appeared Sam Allardyce had got his man, only for Hamann to have second thoughts once City boss Stuart Pearce made his bid for the 32-year-old.

With contract talks being dragged out due to Hamann's World Cup broadcasting commitments on German TV, Allardyce was informed by the player he intended to join City.

Bolton's initial reaction was one of fury, with Allardyce claiming Hamann had signed a contract which he intended to make sure the player - a member of Germany's 2002 World Cup squad but omitted from this summer's tournament by Jurgen Klinsmann - honoured it.

However, once it became apparent how determined Hamann was to join the Blues, Allardyce felt he had little option other than to step aside.

The extraordinary reprecussion was for Liverpool to confirm the player would leave Anfield for Bolton in mid-afternoon followed by a further statement from the Reebok Stadium 90 minutes later revealing Hamann would sign for 'another club' within 24 hours.

Although City officials have opted against making their own position public, Eastlands is Hamann's destination, almost certainly on a two-year contract.

The signing will be welcomed by Blues fans, who have been desperate for more midfield recruitment in the knowledge that former England Under-21 star Joey Barton seems certain to leave.

Pearce has already signed Ousemane Dabo from Lazio and is also in negotiations with Reading's Steve Sidwell, who could provide a useful compliment to Hamann, a winner of eight medals during his seven years at Liverpool, including the 2005 Champions League.