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Thursday, January 31, 2008
City beat deadline for double striker swoop

Manchester City have signed strikers Benjani Mwaruwari and Felipe Caicedo.

PA Sport understands Portsmouth's Zimbabwean international Benjani is undergoing a medical at Eastlands having agreed personal terms with the club.

Despite a slow start to his Portsmouth career after signing in a 4.4million move from Auxerre in January 2005, the African has blossomed with 12 goals this season, including two hat-tricks.

This, together with Benjani's prodigious work-rate has clearly alerted City manager Sven-Goran Eriksson who loaned out strikers Georgios Samaras to Celtic and Rolando Bianchi to Lazio in the last week.

The club have also beaten the transfer deadline to sign teenage striker Felipe Caicedo from FC Basel.

The 19-year-old Ecuador international is thought to have moved to Eastlands in a deal worth around 5million, although no fee has been disclosed.

Caicedo featured for his country in last summer's Copa America and has two goals in 15 international appearances.

His four goals in 12 matches for Basel, managed by former Tottenham boss Christian Gross, have helped fire them to the top of the Swiss league.

There was plenty of interest from clubs in Spain and Italy for Caicedo, but his agent revealed last night that a deal was imminent after a work permit was obtained.

Saif Rubie said: 'He's just agreed a four-and-a-half-year deal at Manchester City - he's over the moon and can't wait to get over here.

'He's a left-footed striker who can also play on the left wing and who has a similar build to Adriano.

'It's taken the best part of two months to come together, and the player respects the fact [City boss] Sven-Goran Eriksson wanted to sign him - he wanted to play under Sven. He likes the fact Sven has the reputation for bringing through young players.

'He is one of the most exciting talents in South America - even though Ecuador hasn't got the profile of Argentina or Brazil, he's well thought of in that region.'

Rubie added on Sky Sports News: 'Three other clubs were in for him from the north-west and north-east - but they didn't quite match the valuation of Basle.

'He's physically good for the Premier League and is ready to get his teeth stuck into it.'

However, the youngster will not figure in tomorrow's Barclays Premier League match against Arsenal.

Rubie added: 'He's not due over here until Sunday or Monday - then we hope he will be in contention for the next game (the Manchester derby against United at Old Trafford on February 10).'

Meanwhile, the son of Inter Milan coach Roberto Mancini has joined Manchester City, the Serie A leaders said on Thursday.

Filippo, 17, made his debut for Inter earlier this month in an Italian Cup match against Reggina.

Inter's wesbite said the midfielder/forward had gone to the Premier League club with media reports saying the move was a loan.

Roberto Mancini played under City boss Sven Goran Eriksson at Sampdoria and Lazio.




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