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Sunday 4 December 2016

City close in on £8m Fabian Delph

File photo dated 30-05-2015 of Aston Villa's Fabian Delph PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Friday July 10, 2015. Aston Villa captain Fabian Delph appears to be on the verge of a move to Manchester City just six months after signing a lengthy contract extension with the midlanders. See PA story SOCCER Man City Delph. Photo credit should read Anthony Devlin/PA Wire.
File photo dated 30-05-2015 of Aston Villa's Fabian Delph PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Friday July 10, 2015. Aston Villa captain Fabian Delph appears to be on the verge of a move to Manchester City just six months after signing a lengthy contract extension with the midlanders. See PA story SOCCER Man City Delph. Photo credit should read Anthony Devlin/PA Wire.

Manchester City are closing in on their first signing of the summer in the form of Aston Villa captain Fabian Delph.

The 25-year-old only signed a new four-and-half-year deal in January but included in that agreement was an £8million release clause which appears to have been triggered by the two-time Premier League champions.

Delph did not fly out with the rest of the squad on Thursday for their training camp in Portugal and the arrival of Lille midfielder Idrissa Gueye late on Friday increases the chances of a swift conclusion to any transfer.

City are keen to boost their home-grown quota following the loss of James Milner to Liverpool and Frank Lampard to New York City and Delph has been on manager Manuel Pellegrini's radar for some time.

The squad are currently in Australia for the start of their pre-season preparations and Delph is expected to join them once the formalities on his deal have been completed.

City are also monitoring the situation with Liverpool's Raheem Sterling, who returned to training on Friday after two days' absence with illness.

They have had two bids rejected, the last an offer of £40million, and have been reluctant to meet the Reds' £50million valuation but this week's developments with the England international will have offered City some encouragement if they want to try to negotiate an agreement.

As it stands Liverpool expect Sterling to be on the squad's flight to Thailand on Sunday for the start of their pre-season tour, despite the 20-year-old telling manager Brendan Rodgers earlier in the week he did not want to travel.

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