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QPR sign striker Polter from Mainz

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City bid for Gago to fail as Madrid rule out sale

Soccernet has learned that Manchester City's attempts to sign Fernando Gago from Real Madrid are set to end in failure.

• On The Move: Live transfer blog
• City make bid for Boro star Johnson

Gago, 23, is known to be keen to leave the Bernabeu ahead of the World Cup as he wants to ensure he is playing regular first-team football to maximise his chances of representing Argentina at the tournament. Gago recently held a meeting with one of his agents, Marcelo Lombilla, and Madrid director general Jorge Valdano, where the player pleaded for a move.

City boss Roberto Mancini has already confirmed his interest in Gago as he looks to increase his defensive midfield options, and reports in the Spanish press have claimed City have made a 15 million euro offer.

However, it has now emerged that Madrid have been unable to locate a suitable replacement and Gago's other agent, Zoran Vekic, has confirmed the player is almost certain to stay.

"Lombilla is in Madrid and has met twice with Valdano but I do not believe that he will leave," he told Soccernet. "There is still a meeting pending, but I doubt that Madrid let him join Manchester City because it is not a question of money. It is a sport decision and the coaches want him to stay in the squad."

Manuel Pellegrini currently has just 22 players in his first-team squad.

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