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City make move for Middlesbrough star Adam Johnson

Manchester City have made a formal offer for Adam Johnson and the Middlesbrough winger could act as a replacement for Robinho as he closes in on a loan move to Brazil.

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Johnson, 22, has been in outstanding form for Middlesbrough this season, scoring 12 goals from midfield, and that has prompted City to move for a player who has attracted interest from a wide range of Premier League clubs over the past 12 months.

However, Middlesbrough have no intention of selling the England Under-21 international and manager Gordon Strachan is ready to reject any bids that come in for Johnson, even though he is out of contract at the end of the season.

"We have had verbal offers, we have had one official offer and I would imagine after looking at those that Adam will be here for the rest of the season, which we are quite delighted about because he is coming back into form," Strachan.

"That's great for us because when he is on form, we are a better team, that's for sure. Adam is a terrific, terrific professional and a terrific young man. He is a credit to his mum and dad."

Chelsea and Real Madrid have previously been linked with Johnson, who has risen to the fore in some style following Stewart Downing's departure to Aston Villa over the summer.

It appears that City are targeting Johnson as a replacement for Robinho after the Brazilian forward was left out of the squad for Wednesday's Carling Cup defeat to Manchester United with talks continuing over his future.

Robinho is close to joining his former club Santos on loan although City manager Roberto Mancini would be content to keep the player at Eastlands.

"Robinho spoke with me yesterday," Mancini said. "It is possible that he will go to play for Santos or another team, so we preferred not to risk him [against United]. But that is the only reason he was not involved. If he is still here at the end of the transfer window, he can play for us."

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