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Adebayor completes move to Man City from Arsenal

EMMANUEL Adebayor became the third striker to join Manchester City in the offseason yesterday, leaving Arsenal to boost its Premier League rival's already extensive attacking options.

The Togo international signed a five-year deal at the end of a week that began with Argentina forward Carlos Tevez joining from Manchester United. Manager Mark Hughes had already recruited Paraguay striker Roque Santa Cruz from Blackburn last month.

"Along with the other signings we have made in the last two windows, he will greatly enhance our ability to compete with the top sides," Hughes said. "Emmanuel has been one of the top forwards in the Premier League since he arrived from France and we are delighted he has agreed to come and join us."

Adebayor won nothing at Arsenal since joining from Monaco more than three years ago. He is hopeful that will change, with City now bankrolled by a big-spending Abu Dhabi owner.

"This is a team, maybe in one year or two years, that will be one of the best in the world," the 2008 African player of the year said.

The 25-year-old Adebayor's transfer fee was reported to be about 25 million pounds ($41 million).

"His arrival is another clear indication that we are determined to augment the players we have here with the best of international talent," Hughes said. "He adds vital balance and power to our attack. He has everything a top forward needs. He is versatile, powerful, quick and agile on the ball."

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger added: "I am sure he will give something special to Manchester City - we will miss him."

Apart from Tevez and Santa Cruz, Adebayor will be joining an attack that also contains record signing Robinho and Craig Bellamy, as Hughes continues to transform his squad using the wealth of the club's Abu Dhabi owner.

"We have got a number of strikers," Hughes said. "It's about making sure we are able to get everybody up to the right level and we can make sure against any given opposition we have the right combinations."

The need for more options was highlighted yesterday as Valeri Bojinov, Felipe Caicedo, Benjani Mwaruwari and Bellamy all failed to find the net as City lost 2-0 to the Orlando Pirates on a preseason tour of South Africa. City left Robinho, Tevez, Santa Cruz and midfield recruit Gareth Barry out of the team.

Hughes is not neglecting the need to bolster the defense, although his primary targets are proving difficult to capture.

Everton rejected a bid of 15 million pounds ($24.4 million) for England defender Joleon Lescott on Friday, while Chelsea has dismissed two offers for England captain John Terry, insisting the center back is not for sale at any price.

"That's Chelsea's stance and we understand that," Hughes said. "But we obviously are looking to strengthen in defensive areas and we are looking at all options."

Terry played in the opening match of Chelsea's tour of the United States yesterday as the FA Cup winners beat the Seattle Sounders 2-0.

Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti reiterated after the friendly: "John Terry is a player of Chelsea and he will remain a player and symbol of Chelsea."

City's latest bid for Terry was about 30 million pounds.

When asked earlier yesterday if City would continue to pursue Terry, Hughes said: "It's a case of seeing at what level we want to go up to. If there comes a point where we can't progress, in any deal we are involved in, we walk away."


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