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Hazard shines but Blues stumble

Chelsea Ratings
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By ESPN Staff

City in hunt for Heerenveen's Samaras

Manchester City are close to signing Heerenveen's Greek striker Georgios Samaras, according to the Dutch club's chairman Riemer van der Velde.

The 20-year-old, who has scored seven goals in Holland this season, has expressed a desire to move on at the end of the season but he could leave before the transfer window closes if City decide to close what is thought to be a £4.8million deal.

'There is indeed a chance that we will see Samaras go to Manchester City,' Van der Velde told Omroep Friesland in Holland.

'Their interest in him is concrete. I think we will get clarity later today about a transfer.

'I understand Georgios can sign a contract until 2010 there.'

Samaras, whose contract does not expire until the summer of 2008, told the Leeuwarder Courant last week: 'If a good club comes for me before February 1, there is a chance I will go there.

'It's not certain yet if such a club will come but I want to leave Heerenveen and Holland after this season, no matter what.

'I've been here five years already and I have learned enough. It is time to try my skills at a higher level.'