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NO WAY JOSE: CELTIC BOOST AS CITY BID FAILS

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MANCHESTER CITY have failed in a bid for Celtic target Jose Cifuentes, according to reports in Ecuador.

Pep Guardiola’s English champions made their move for the 20-year-old midfielder, but their unspecified proposal was immediately knocked back by Universidad Catolica del Ecuador.

Cifuentes, the star of his country’s Under-20 World Cup bid this summer, is currently on loan at America de Quito, but is poised to move to Europe.

The youngster is weighing up the opportunity of playing at Parkhead or The Etihad and Neil Lennon confirmed last week the player was “on the radar”.

The Hoops failed in their move for Brentford’s Romaine Sawyers when he agreed a £3million switch to West Brom at the weekend leaving the Hoops gaffer still looking for recruits for his engine room.

With work permit regulations more relaxed in Scotland than England, it will be easier for Cifuentes to overcome red tape.

He also realises he will get a better chance of becoming part of the Irishman’s first-team squad than a place in Guardiola’s reckoning and is more likely to be loaned to  Girona, City’s partner club.

Former fans’ favourite Patrick Roberts, who spent two-and-a-half-seasons on loan at Parkhead, returned to the big-money English outfit a year ago and was immediately dispatched to the Spanish side.

The winger, despite 18 appearances, failed to settle during his season-long temporary transfer as the club were relegated at the end of a disastrous campaign.

Roberts is now on loan at Norwich City.

Cifuentes may push for the chance to play a more significant role with any interested club.

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Editor

Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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