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By ESPN Staff

Man City sign agreement to develop Eastlands land

Manchester City have signed an agreement with Manchester City Council to develop land around their Eastlands stadium.

The massive scheme will transform one of the poorest areas of the City, creating thousands of jobs as the site is turned into a ''world class sports and leisure complex''.

Almost since the moment Sheikh Mansour completed his takeover of City in 2008 there have been suggestions that he wanted to develop spare land around the Blues' stadium, with a new training ground among the ideas that have been mentioned.

That plan is now set to reach fruition as part of the wider project, with AC Milan's luxurious Milanello complex the template for a centre which will include training pitches and state-of-the-art medical facilities.

In addition, the club will look into the financial viability of extending the stadium from its current 48,000 capacity.

The first phase of the development will involve a 'market place-style fan zone', on Joe Mercer Way, the current approach to the stadium.

With a Metrolink stop set to be incorporated at the Sport City side as part of the current expansion of the local transport network, ample opportunity for further development is envisaged within a three-way partnership between City, the council and New east Manchester.

''Manchester City has been and always will be at the heart of the community it serves in the City of Manchester,'' said City chief executive Garry Cook. ''The longer term considerations for the area reflect the long term commitment of our owners to the club and the community it serves.''

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