- Premier League
Dzeko hoses down exit rumours
Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko is determined to stay at the club and fight for his place despite the fact manager Roberto Mancini was once again spotted looking at alternatives to bolster his attacking line at the weekend.
Mancini was seen in the stands watching Atletico Madrid, and looked to be keeping a close eye on the impressive and in-demand Colombian striker Radamel Falcao.
The weekend trip follows just months after Mancini missed out on his top summer transfer target Robin van Persie, with the blow only intensified when Van Persie arrived at bitter rivals Manchester United.
Dzeko would likely be the man to make way should Mancini decide to bring in a new attacking weapon, yet the erratic pair of Mario Balotelli and Carlos Tevez could also be in the mix, given their chequered pasts.
Dzeko has wasted little time this season showcasing his talents, with the Bosnian striker already scoring eight goals for club and country so far this campaign, and he has declared that he will continue displaying his talents in front of goal.
"Every time I see a paper, for what seems like a year or more there is a story saying that I am leaving City, or that I want to go. But I've never said that so the stories don't come from me," Dzeko said.
"I've always wanted to stay at City and fight for my place. My motto has always been 'Never give up'. I hope the City fans who have always been fantastic towards me have seen I can score important goals for the team and that's what I want to carry on doing."
The striker did admit, however, that he does find it difficult being part of a group of big name strikers at Manchester City, which includes Sergio Aguero, Tevez and Balotelli. This has meant Dzeko has had to get used to being regularly left on the bench and used sparingly in games at the club and Dzeko says he finds it difficult to build up much momentum as a result.
"There is myself and three fantastic strikers so obviously we can't all play at the same time. So sometimes it can be difficult to find your rhythm. You could play one game and then be on the bench for the next three. I think confidence is the key to playing at your best, of course. Plus the more games you play, the more goals you are likely to score.
"But, as I say, with many good strikers at the club that's how it's going to be. As a player you accept that and just try your best each time you play. That's what I do and will continue to do."
Atletico's general manager, Gil Martin, has given some indication that the cash-strapped club may look to cash in on Falcao in the summer transfer window, with the Colombian striker in hot demand following his eye-catching display against Chelsea in the UEFA Super Cup. But Martin did state any move for Falcao would have to wait for the summer and would not happen any earlier.
"That €60 million would solve all the economic problems at Atletico. It would cover our debts. I can say for sure though that he will stay with us until the end of the season."