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Man City stagnation hits home

Manchester City
By ESPN Staff

Relieved Atletico bring Maniche saga to a close

MADRID, Aug 30 (Reuters) - Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo said he was relieved to have signed long-term target Maniche after the Portugal midfielder completed his move to the Primera Liga side on Wednesday.

'At last the saga is over,' Cerezo told a news conference at the player's presentation to the media. 'It wasn't an easy signing because his club (Dynamo Moscow) didn't want to let him go and there were some long and complicated negotiations.'

Atletico originally tried to sign Maniche last January, but he spent a six-month loan spell at Chelsea instead.

The 28-year-old international, who has signed a three-year deal for a reported fee of 9.0 million euros ($11.55 million), said Atletico had been his first-choice destination.

'There was interest from a large number of clubs, but I kept hoping that I would be able to join Atletico,' he said.

'Now I'm here I want to do everything I can to help Atletico get back to the top.'

His arrival brings Atletico's close-season spending to around 50 million euros. They are prepared to spend at least another 16 million to try and sign Arsenal's Spain winger Jose Antonio Reyes before Thursday's transfer deadline.

'Great players aren't free,' said Cerezo. 'But we have some good sources of finance and we will keep following this transfer policy as long as we can.'