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The Insider: Manchester City in London for Kurzawa talks


Manchester City representatives were at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday to advance negotiations for Monaco left-back Layvin Kurzawa, The Insider can reveal.

Although the left-back only came on for the final 10 minutes of his side's 3-1 victory over Arsenal, City were able to push ahead and lay the groundwork for a summer move.

The Premier League champions have already scouted the 22-year-old on a number of occasions and travelled to London with the intention of talking, rather than watching.

The Frenchman has been at Monaco since 2007, when he was in his mid-teens, and made his first-team debut in 2010.

He established himself as the club's first-choice left-back last season and has been linked with a move to Manchester United in recent weeks, but City are keen to bring him to the Etihad Stadium as Italian clubs enquire over the possibility of signing Aleksandar Kolarov.
- By Paul Clennam


Tyler Blackett resisted overtures from rival Premier League sides before committing his future to Manchester United.
The 20-year-old defender was due to be out of contract in the summer and had been attracting interest from a number of clubs.
Blackett has featured nine times in the league for United this season after being drafted in by boss Louis van Gaal following a spate of injuries in the early part of the campaign.
He has played just 26 league minutes in 2015, however, leading to speculation that United could be willing to let him go.

But The Insider understands the Red Devils had been in negotiations with the youngster for some time, only for talks to drag on longer than expected.
Tottenham, West Ham, Southampton, Stoke City and Crystal Palace were among the clubs readying moves for the left-sided defender, but they were left disappointed this week when he penned a new deal until 2017.

- By Graeme Bailey


Ivory Coast international Max Gradel has expressed a desire to return to England, having been heavily linked with a Premier League move during the January transfer window.

The 27-year-old former Leeds United and Leicester City man has been back playing football in Ligue 1 with Saint Etienne since 2011.

He helped his country secure the Africa Cup of Nations trophy at the expense of Ghana following a dramatic penalty shoot-out, and scored twice in the group stages against Mali and Cameroon.

The midfielder signed a new contract which will keep him at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard until 2017, but says a return to England does appeal.

"I'm enjoying my time in France. I'm very pleased with my form for club and country," he told The Insider.

"I'm aware of interest from England and if the opportunity arose to return it's something I'd consider. Of course the deal would have to be right for Saint-Etienne."

England may not be Gradel's only potential option, however, given that former Manchester United and Everton manager David Moyes was in attendance for Saint-Etienne's recent clash against Bordeaux.

Moyes is now in charge of Real Sociedad and the Scot could be prepared to offer the talented Ivorian the chance to move to San Sebastian.
- By Graeme Bailey