Yet more Demichelis foibles pushes Man City towards Celtic star

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Before Martin Demichelis had even pulled on a Manchester City shirt he was the butt of all the jokes having signed from Atletico Madrid then getting immediately injured.

When he finally did take to the field the guffawing only rose to deafening levels after mistake upon mistake highlighted the Argetine’s poor debut campaign in England.

Instrumental in City crashing out of the FA Cup, which leaves their 15/8-rated chances in the Premier League as the most likely addition to their Capital One Cup trophy haul, it seems one term is all the former Bayern Munich stopper will get at the Etihad.

Celtic’s young Dutchman Virgil van Dijk is being lined up as a replacement but the 22-year-old, who has impressed for the Hoops having signed from Groningen last summer, is thought to have both Manchester clubs scrapping over his signature.

However, he would surely prefer to plump for City’s Champions League-laced offer over United’s Europa version, with David Moyes’ side a 10/1 shot to land in the top four this term.

The player’s agent, Henk-Maarten Chin, has said he expects his client to be playing Premier League football next season and boasted a number of top clubs in the division as suitors to the Breda native without, of course, naming any.

However, Manuel Pellegrini’s club have long been admirers of Van Dijk, who has been part of one of the stingiest defences in Europe this season.

Celtic have conceded just 14 league goals in their 28 games this term and considering the youngster has started 26 of those it’s clear Neil Lennon has complete faith in the Dutchman’s ability despite his young age.

That’s surely more than can be said of Chilean Pellegrini and Demichelis right now and with unfancied Joleon Lescott also looking to move on and Matija Nastasic injury prone, Van Dijk’s arrival could be just what the club need to freshen up the heart of their defence.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.