Manchester City are preparing to make another controversial summer swoop on Everton with a bid for Mikel Arteta.
City boss Roberto Mancini, who is hoping to take his spending close to the £100million barrier with a £25million offer for Aston Villa’s James Milner this week, will follow that up by asking Everton to name their price for Arteta.
The Merseysiders, who lost a battle to keep Joleon Lescott out of City’s clutches last year when the England defender moved to Eastlands in a £24million deal after a bitter war of words between the two clubs, are already braced for a City bid.
Boss David Moyes does not want to lose the gifted Spanish midfielder.
But last year he blamed his side’s poor start to the season on Lescott’s protracted departure.
Moyes rates Arteta as an even more important player – so it will take a City bid in excess of £25million to take the former Real Sociedad and Rangers playmaker away from Goodison.