By Elia Raimondo
Manchester City have begun negotiations with AC Milan over the potential sale of Edin Dzeko to the Serie A side, Goal.com has learned.
The forward only arrived at Eastlands in January of last year as part of a £27 million transfer from Wolfsburg but he has grown increasingly frustrated by his failure to nail down a regular berth in Roberto Mancini's starting line-up.
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The Premier League champions are believed to be set for a busy summer, particularly with regards their strikers.
Roque Santa Cruz is closing in on a permanent return to Real Betis while Emmanuel Adebayor is expected to sign for Spurs in a £5m move.
Meanwhile, City are also being heavily linked with a move for Arsenal captain Robin van Persie.
AC Milan chief executive Adriano Galliani, however, has already claimed that Milan's transfer window is closed but, as he admitted on Sunday, he is keeping abreast of all market activity. Hence, the club's desire to meet with City last week.
The Rossoneri tried desperately to sign Dzeko's team-mate Carlos Tevez during the January transfer window, and have also been linked with Mario Balotelli since the end of last season. However, the San Siro outfit have given up on the former Corinthians striker and did not even mention the latter during their talks with the Premier League champions in Milan between July 4 and 5.
The Serie A giants retain an interest in Dzeko, though. City do not want to accept a significant loss on the 26-year-old, but they are desperate to offload a striker given how crowded their forward line has become. Their hand is further strengthened by the fact that Dzeko, a childhood Milan fan, favours a move to San Siro over a possible transfer to Turin.
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Milan have their cash-flow concerns, as evidenced by their initial willingness to sell Thiago Silva to Paris Saint-Germain, but they are in a position to meet City's asking price for Dzeko: £19m in deferred payments over a four-year period.
Galliani, though, is willing to bide his time, primarily because of the current uncertainty surrounding the future of star forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but also in the hope that City, in their desperation to move Dzeko on, might lower their asking price. Consequently, this looks like it could prove one of the summer's more protracted transfer sagas.