transfer talk

Man City snap up youngster Zander from Schalke

May 21, 2009

Manchester City have completed the signing of teenage Schalke full-back Nils Zander.

The German youth international is yet to make his senior debut for the Bundesliga outfit but has shown enough in their junior ranks for City manager Mark Hughes to be convinced of his quality.

And, for all the star names Hughes continues to be linked with, the former Wales chief has made 16-year-old Zander his first capture of the summer.

It is not anticipated Zander will go straight into Hughes' senior squad.

However, with Michael Ball set to leave Eastlands this summer and Javier Garrido not convincing Hughes of his long-term value for the Blues, Zander could easily be called upon to deputise for Wayne Bridge at some stage next term.

Meanwhile, Stephen Ireland has been voted City's player of the year.

The midfielder has been one of the stand-out figures for the Blues in a campaign scarred by inconsistency.

And, after being overlooked in favour of Ashley Young for the PFA young player prize, the 22-year-old has now gained some consolation, ending fellow Irishman Richard Dunne's four-year hold on the trophy.

Ireland was the overwhelming choice of City fans, beating Vincent Kompany into second place, with Pablo Zabaleta in third.

Teenage striker Daniel Sturridge, who has still not signed a deal for next season, was named the young player of the year despite an injury-marred campaign.