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50-50: Liverpool vs. Real Madrid

Champions League 13 hours ago
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By ESPN Staff
Jul 3, 2008

City still hopeful on Ronaldinho coup

Manchester City executive chairman Garry Cook remains 'optimistic' the club can attract Ronaldinho to Eastlands. The Brazilian playmaker is looking for a new direction after being off-loaded by Barcelona. City are in dialogue with the player's representatives and anxious to bring him in alongside new club record signing Jo. Cook said: 'We are in the hunt and have been talking to them on (a) regular basis. 'We will continue to do so until we feel it is not right to bring the player to the club or he decides not to come. We know it is a competitive market place. 'There are some complexities (to a possible deal) that you don't normally associate with signing a player. 'Although there is long way to go, we are optimistic. Any great player is welcome here as this is a growth club. 'We are on a journey and are not going to stop until we create a new era.' Ronaldinho has been linked with a move to Chelsea while questions have also been raised about his form and fitness. But manager Mark Hughes is adamant they can give the 2002 World Cup winner the platform he needs to get back to his best. 'Perhaps in the last 18 months he has not reached his potential,' Hughes said. 'We are offering him an opportunity that will stimulate him and enable him to get back to the level he was at before. 'I think it could be an interesting idea for him. Maybe what we are doing here would attract him more than going to an established Champions League club. 'The decision will be his, of course, as I am sure he will have many offers. Whether he can see our vision remains to be seen.' Jo, capped once by Brazil, has agreed a four-year contract and will join the rest of the squad when they leave for their training camp in Germany today. During his spell with CSKA, the 21-year-old won the Russian league and cup double in 2006 and boasts Champions League pedigree having made numerous appearances in the competition for the Moscow club. He said: 'I decided to come to Manchester City because it is one of the clubs who showed more interest in me, although I had other offers as well. 'After I spoke to the manager (Hughes) I was very pleased. 'I was told Manchester City is a club going forward at the moment. We can go places, that is our objective. I decided to come to Manchester City for that reason.' Meanwhile, Hughes is close to agreeing new deals for captain Richard Dunne and goalkeeper Joe Hart. On Dunne, he said: 'It is as good as done. He is a really important player for us. It was one of my priorities when I became manager to keep him. 'Joe is another one we want to stay. We hope to resolve his situation. Those negotiations are ongoing but I think there is a will on both sides,' he added regarding Hart.

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