Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 13 July 2014

Savic ready to break English hearts

Stefan Savic

Manchester City new boy Stefan Savic is already looking forward to upsetting a few team-mates - by helping Montenegro reach Euro 2012 at England's expense later this year.

The 20-year-old defender was part of the side which secured a goalless draw against Fabio Capello's men last term which ensured his side are level with England heading into the final three games, which include a crucial meeting between the two in Podgorica in October. And - even though there were five of his new team-mates in the side he helped deny in London - Savic cannot wait for the re-match.

"We are a small country but we have played very well in this qualification," Savic told www.mcfc.co.uk. "We drew 0-0 at Wembley, which was an historical result for us. Now we have 11 points like them and we have a chance to reach Euro 2012. We have to play England once more and I can say it will not be easy for them."

Before that, Savic, who became City's second signing in three days following Gael Clichy's arrival from Arsenal on Monday, hopes to steer the Eastlands outfit towards some silverware following completion of his move from Partizan Belgrade.

He will be joined in that quest by Gareth Barry after City rejected suggestions the midfielder could be offloaded to help secure the services of Napoli's highly-rated forward Ezequiel Lavezzi.

Interest in Lavezzi would be no surprise given the striker's growing reputation, his presence at the Copa America with the hosts Argentina and doubts over the future of skipper Carlos Tevez.

What set alarm bells ringing at Eastlands was the observation by manager Roberto Mancini's agent, Giorgio De Giorgis, that in order to facilitate a deal between the two clubs, who remain poles apart in their valuation of Lavezzi, Barry could be involved as a makeweight.

A less likely candidate to join Napoli it is hard to imagine. There has never been any suggestion of Barry having a wish to play abroad, nor indeed a feeling that Mancini is unhappy with the England midfielder.

In fact, Barry was a regular member of Mancini's starting line-up last season and was part of the team that defeated Stoke in the FA Cup final at Wembley in May to secure the Blues' first trophy in 35 years. And a City spokesperson ended the confusion by confirming Barry will be remaining exactly where he is.

"Mr Giorgis is not mandated by the football club to deal with transfers in or out of Manchester City," said the spokesperson. "Furthermore, there is no intention to sell Gareth Barry, who remains a valued member of the team."

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