Premier League

Blanc keen on Cabaye move

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Wed, 03 Jul 2013 21:10:00

Real Madrid new boy Isco has revealed he snubbed an offer to join Manchester City admitting joining Real was too good to turn down.

Isco was officialy unveiled by Real on Wednesday to the club's fans after arriving from Malaga in a five-year deal.

The 21-year-old was strongly linked with a move to Manchester City with Manuel Pellegrini keen to be reunited with the playmaker having worked with him at Malaga.

However, Isco snubbed their overtures to join Real in a €27million (£23million) deal and although he was tempted to move to the City he conceded the lure of the Spanish giants was just too much.

"I have few doubts about coming here, because although I knew that Pellegrini wanted me, once I learned that Real Madrid's interest was serious I didn't think twice," said Isco.

"I had offers from other teams in Europe but its impossible to say no to Madrid, it's a dream for me to play here and here I am."

Isco admits he is relishing the challenge to win a place in Carlo Ancelotti's star-studded squad.

"Winning a place in the best team in the world is very difficult and match time here doesn't come for free, but I hope with hard work I will win my place my team," added Isco.

"There needs to be a lot of competition in every great team, it's a good sign, and I've come here to find my way into the team and win many things."

The 25-year-old Sierra Leone international has been playing in Norway since 2006, after he saw a move to Watford fall through when he was not granted a work-permit.

Bangura had initially impressed Watford at the World Under-17 World Cup, but after seeing his move to Vicarage Road collapse - they still owned him and he was loaned to Honefoss.

After his deal with Watford expired in 2008, he stayed with Honefoss before then in 2010, joining Haugesund.

Now after emerging as one of the best defenders in Scandinavia, Palace have made their move to land Bangura - whose current deal is due to expire at the end of this year.

It is understood that an opening bid from Palace has already been rejected by Haugesund, something Bangura is far from happy about.

"I am very disappointed," he is quoted by Haugesund Avis.

"I'm ready for new challenges, and the Premier League is a great opportunity for me and Crystal Palace want me now.

"I only have a few months left on my contract before I can go for free, so the choice should not be that difficult."

Because Sierra Leone are now ranked in Fifa's top-70 - Bangura, who is a regular for his country, would qualify for a work-permit to play in England.

Sky Sports revealed last month that Bournemouth were lining up a move for free agent Jackson as they look to bolster their attacking options.

Jackson is available on a free transfer after being released by Norwich earlier this summer.

A number of clubs are thought to have expressed an interest in the Canadian international, but Bournemouth have emerged as favourites to land the 26-year-old.

Talks are thought to be at an advanced stage as Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe looks to make Jackson his third signing of the summer following the arrivals of Ian Harte and Elliott Ward.

Cabaye's future remains far from certain at St James' Park, and he has been linked with a number of clubs in the Premier League and also back in his native France.

Big spending Monaco and PSG are both thought to be keeping close tabs on Cabaye's situation, and Blanc is a big fan of Cabaye.

Blanc was the French manager when he gave Cabaye his debut for his country, and he has remained a big fan of the 27-year-old midfielder.

"Yohan offers many things in midfield and can play in quite a few positions," said Blanc.

"He is an interesting player, and the midfield will be an area we will be strengthening because there will be departures."

Blanc is also in need of a new left-back and he confirmed he was looking at highly-rated Lille youngster Lucas Digne and former Barcelona ace Eric Abidal.

"Lucas Digne and Eric Abidal are of interest to PSG, if one of the players mentioned happens, it would be a good thing," he said.

Blanc also insisted that he has no plans to sell centre-half Mamadou Sakho - who was frustrated last season under Carlo Ancelotti.

"For me, there is no problem. It is with great pleasure that I work with him," he concluded.

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