Manchester City's desire to slow down negotiations for the £18m-rated Brazilian striker Jo to give their new manager, Mark Hughes, a proper sight of him, appears to be a luxury they cannot afford with Milan and an unnamed Spanish club expressing interest.
City anticipate a deal being struck with the CSKA Moscow player this week but the Italian interest does present a threat. But the club's new executive chairman, Garry Cook, whose dinner with Hughes on Saturday evening helped them to map out the future in detail, has been keen to give the manager time to analyse reports and DVDs of Jo in action. Hughes' hopes of having Richard Dunne – City fans' player of the year for the past four years – in place for next season have improved after talks with the Republic of Ireland defender, who is likely to be offered a new contract.
Talks continued in Brazil yesterday, between the City owner Thaksin Shinawatra's representatives and those of Ronaldinho, with much ground to cover if the Barcelona player is to be signed in time for the new campaign. Discussions with the player's sponsor Nike over how a deal might be structured are running in tandem with those in Brazil and one of Nike's subsidiaries might sponsor the player in Manchester.
Albion lose Gera to Fulham
Zoltan Gera has rejected a new contract and signed for Fulham. The 29-year-old West Bromwich midfielder moved to the Hawthorns in July 2004 and scored 25 times in 155 games. Albion manager Tony Mowbray said: "Having offered Zoltan the best contract the club could at this time, we could do no more. We wish Zoltan all the best in his future career."
Ipswich silent on Ameobi bid
Ipswich have refused to comment on reports Newcastle United have accepted a £4m bid for striker Shola Ameobi. The former England Under-21 international played just eight games for the Magpies last season and was on loan to Stoke for the final three months. Ameobi, 26, has been the subject of speculation since his return to St James' Park.
Bayern plan £15m bid for Hleb
Bayern Munich have joined the race for Alexander Hleb. Bayern, who are willing to pay €19m (£15m) for the Belarus winger according to reports, are also tracking Stuttgart forward Mario Gomez, who would cost €18m (£14.2m). Alexandre Song has signed a long-term contract at the Emirates. The Cameroon international favours midfield but played at centre-back for the final five matches of last season.
*YESTERDAY'S COMPLETED MOVES
Kevin Amankwaah (Swansea City) to Swindon Town Free
Adam Legzdins (Birmingham City) to Crewe Alexandra Free
Stefan Oakes (Wycombe Wanderers) to Lincoln City Free
Andrew Webster (Wigan Athletic) to Rangers Free
Zoltan Gera (West Bromwich Albion) to Fulham Free