Fri, Aug 03, 2007 - Page 24 News List

Eriksson splashes out on Brazil's Elano, defenders

AP , MANCHESTER, ENGLAND

Manchester City manager Sven-Goran Eriksson yesterday continued to rebuild his squad for the Premier League season when he signed Brazil midfielder Elano and two defenders.

City paid Shakhtar Donetsk £8 million (US$16.2 million) for Elano, who has been a regular in Brazil's squad the past three years and helped the team win the Copa America last month.

Eriksson also spent £1.5 million on Real Sociedad defender Javier Garrido and bought Croatia international Vedran Corluka from Dinamo Zagreb.

Croatian media reported that Corluka would cost about ?8 million, which would take City's offseason spending to about £31 million.

The club had money to spend after former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra bought the club last month.

Elano, a 26-year-old attacking midfielder, played for Internacional and Santos before joining Shakhtar.

He spent two years with the club and became the first player from the Ukrainian league to play for Brazil.

Elano is the second Brazilian to join City in the offseason after the arrival of forward Geovanni from Cruzeiro.

City did not say how long Elano's contract was.

The 22-year-old Garrido, a Spain under-21 regular last season, agreed to a four-year contract with Manchester City.

"A chance to play in the Premier League does not come every day and it is very difficult to reject," said Garrido, who can also play in midfield as well as left back.

Corluka, 21, can play in central defense or at right back and agreed to a five-year contract. He has played nine times for Croatia and will complete the transfer if he gets a work permit.

"He's a good defender," Eriksson said.

"He's young and the good thing with him is that he can play in different roles. He's a tall, big guy and we look forward to him starting here," he said.

The former England manager has now signed seven players since taking over last month. Rolando Bianchi, Geovanni, Martin Petrov and Gelson Fernandes have all moved to the club, which finished 14th in last season's Premier League.

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