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Real escape with hope of progress

What the papers say
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City scout Belgian trio

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini was present at the KNVB Beker final to scout Ajax star Jan Vertonghen, according to reports in Belgium and the Netherlands.

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City are believed to have seen a bid for Belgium international Vertonghen, 24, turned down in January but are now reportedly prepared to spend £15 million on the player, who recently revealed he was dreaming of a move to England.

Meanwhile, City scout Attilio Lombardo was at Sclessin on Saturday to check out Standard Liege midfielder Axel Witsel. Witsel, 22, has been a key figure for Standard this season and will have impressed Lombardo with an excellent goal to beat Club Brugge and keep Standard in with a chance to win the Belgian League.

Witsel - a former winner of the Golden Shoe, Belgium's highest individual accolade - has stated his desire to move on, saying he has "nothing left to win in Belgium".

City also sent scouts to watch Kevin De Bruyne, 19, who has also attracted interest from Chelsea. His club, Racing Genk, are currently top of the league in Belgium and clear favourites to win. The attacking midfielder, yet another of Belgium's young talents, has attracted headlines recently for his dribbling, passing ability and a vision belying his young age. Zenit St Petersburg are also in the market for him.

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