Manchester City agree £19m deal for Jo

First published in Sport

Reports claim Manchester City have agreed the club record £19million transfer of Brazilian striker Jo from CSKA Moscow.

City executive chairman Garry Cook has been working hard to tie up a deal which represents the first of Mark Hughes' reign as manager. Cook hoped the signing would have been announced before now but complications over Jo's ownership held up the move - although confirmation the forward has signed at Eastlands may not be made official by the club until Monday.

The fee would eclipse the £13.5million Kevin Keegan paid Paris St Germain to sign Nicolas Anelka in 2002, representing a significant statement of intent from owner Thaksin Shinawatra.

Dr Thaksin may have come under attack from City fans over his decision to dump Sven-Goran Eriksson but fears for the future under the former Thailand Prime Minister have largely been dispelled amid Hughes' appointment and the anticipated capture of Jo.

Although Jo only has a single international appearance to his name, that is down to a row with current coach Dunga, whose own position is under threat following a woeful sequence of results in the South American World Cup qualifiers.

The 21-year-old is viewed as one of the brightest attacking talents in the world and Hughes now has a chance to let him get to know his new team-mates ahead of their UEFA Cup qualifying campaign, which starts next month.

Dr Thaksin will also hope Jo's arrival can revive interest in a move from Barcelona for former world footballer of the year Ronaldinho.

Although City had been hopeful of capturing the legendary playmaker, over recent days it has been suggested AC Milan or even remaining at the Nou Camp remain Ronaldinho's preferred options.

However, even if Ronaldinho is not brought to the north-west, Jo appears certain to be only the first of a significant number of new players at City this summer.

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