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The Sweeper: David Silva's ankle problems threaten to disrupt Manchester City's title run-in

The Sweeper: David Silva's ankle problems threaten to disrupt Manchester City's title run-in

The Spaniard doesn't need surgery but he has been unable to operate at his maximum with Mancini reluctant to rest his key man, while Sunderland star Sessegnon is set to reject PSG

THE
SWEEPER
TIDYING UP ALL THE LOOSE STORIES IN FOOTBALL THIS WEEK


SILVA PLAYING AT 80 PER CENT DUE TO ANKLE TROUBLES

Manchester City star David Silva has lit up the Premier League this season but the Spanish magician is fighting through the pain barrier as we enter the final nine games of the campaign.

The Sweeper can today reveal the real extent of Silva’s daily battle with ankle injuries that he has been carrying since mid-January, which has coincided with a dip in his personal form as City hit their first rocky patch of the season.

The Spaniard, 26, has a long-term problem with his left ankle, but both are causing him soreness, and the club’s desire to nurse him through until the end of the season has seen him substituted in his last three appearances.

The ideal scenario for Silva would be for him to rest for two weeks, but manager Roberto Mancini feels that he cannot afford to give the former Valencia man time off as City challenge for a first top flight title in 44 years.

The midfielder’s problems are not helped but his refusal to wear ankle strapping like most players as he says that it restricts his feel for the ball.

"Silva is playing at 80 per cent because of his ankle trouble, it’s been causing him discomfort for a while now," a City source told Goal.com.

"He doesn’t need an operation, it’s a case of pain management to nurse him through until the end of the season."

- Greg Stobart | Northern Correspondent

EX-REAL MADRID STAR: FULHAM MEDICAL 'MOST STRENUOUS I'VE EVER HAD'

The stringency of medicals has come under the microscope this week following Fabrice Muamba’s collapse at White Hart Lane.

One club who lead the way in England on this front are Fulham, who routinely subject potential signings to comprehensive two-day medicals.

The Sweeper understands that former Real Madrid, Lyon and Monaco midfielder Mahamadou Diarra, who joined the Londoners on a short-term contract last month, told club officials that the Fulham medical was "the most strenuous I have ever had".

Fulham have a history of leaving no stone unturned as they complete player purchases. Pavel Pogrebnyak, who, like Diarra, has a history of knee trouble, had a medical in Munich as the hours to the January transfer deadline ticked down and he waited for a UK work permit, while the club rejected the opportunity to sign Shay Given on loan from Manchester City in August 2010 because medical documents raised concern about his recovery from a shoulder injury.

- Wayne Veysey | Chief Correspondent

SUNDERLAND ACE SET TO SHUN PSG

The Sweeper understands that Stephane Sessegnon is ready to reject the overtures of former employers Paris Saint-Germain and pledge his future to Sunderland.

The Benin forward has impressed on Wearside after leaving the French capital in a £6 million deal in January last year, but has struggled to settle in the north-east due to homesickness.

The midfielder has, though, been so impressed with manager Martin O’Neill that he is planning to stick at it and remain at the Stadium of Light.

A source close to Sessegnon revealed: "He has really been enjoying his football under O’Neill and he thinks that he is on to a good thing with Sunderland after all.

"It has not been easy with his family still living in France but the club are doing really well and could get into Europe if they win the FA Cup. He knows the career of a footballer is a short one so he is thinking Sunderland is the best place for him to be."

- Rob Stewart | Correspondent

AIRLINE READY TO CLAIM NAMING RIGHTS TO NEW SPURS STADIUM?


Daniel Levy was in Qatar last week to check out the state-of-the-art Aspire Centre, but sources at White Hart Lane have told Goal.com that he also held 'business meetings' while he was in the host country for the 2022 World Cup.

The Sweeper revealed in December that Qatar Airways is the frontrunner to secure a naming rights deal for Tottenham's planned redevelopment of White Hart Lane. Could the airline be close to lending its name to the club's new stadium?

- Greg Stobart | Northern Correspondent

'MERCURIAL' ZAMORA NOT MISSED BY FORMER COLLEAGUES

Bobby Zamora has had a difficult start to his QPR career since making the short move across west London from Fulham in the final hours of the January window.

The 31-year-old has only been on the winning team once at Rangers and is said to be distinctly unimpressed by the facilities at his new club.

Despite concerns among senior players at Fulham that Zamora’s target-man qualities would be sorely missed, his absence is not being mourned at Craven Cottage.

One Fulham source told The Sweeper: "Bobby was mercurial for us. He is not an easy character. When Martin Jol came in his performances and training were conditional.

"It did not go unnoticed that he would always perform better at home matches when the TV cameras were there, but then would go missing on difficult away trips."

- Wayne Veysey | Chief Correspondent


TYNE-WEAR RIVALS KEEN ON LEEDS UNITED STARLET

The Sweeper can reveal that highly-rated Leeds United player Aidy White is poised to follow former colleagues Bradley Johnson and Jonny Howson out of Elland Road, with Newcastle and north-east neighbours Sunderland leading the chase.

The 20-year-old will be out of contract this summer and Aston Villa and Bolton Wanderers are also monitoring his situation. White is, however, under the age of 24 and so any interested parties would have to pay compensation for the versatile left-sided player.

- Rob Stewart | Correspondent

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