Manchester City step up Cirigliano pursuit with River Plate chief set for talks

The 20-year-old has been monitored by the Premier League champions for a couple of seasons, and could be available as the Buenos Aires outfit look to cash in on their prize talent
By Greg Stobart

Manchester City are set for talks with River Plate president Daniel Passarella over a potential move for long-term target Ezequiel Cirigliano. understands that the River supremo is likely to arrive in Manchester over the coming days tasked with raising funds for the Buenos Aires outfit, and is aware of City's interest in the defensive midfielder.

Cirigliano, 20, has played over 40 times for the Argentine giants, becoming a first-team regular following their relegation to Nacional B in 2011.

The combative midfielder has been described as the new Javier Mascherano in some quarters, and according to agent Rodrigo Vilarino, has been on City's radar for a couple of years.

"City have been following Ezequiel since the start of 2010, when they sent him an invitation to England for a 20-day trial," he told Ole in May.

Passarella is aware of interest from City in the starlet, and it is understood that he will meet with a number of clubs on the continent with River keen on raising funds from their most highly sought-after talent.

Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United have also been linked with the defensive midfielder in the past, while City reserve team coach Attilio Lombardo is said to have been keeping close tabs on Cirigliano when he worked as a scout before replacing Andy Walsh as second-string coach at Carrington earlier in 2012.

Cirigliano would be the fourth Argentine to join City's squad if a deal was to be secured, with compatriots Pablo Zabaleta, Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tevez having all started in the Premier League champions' 3-1 victory away to Newcastle on Sunday.

Follow Greg Stobart on