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Monday, July 20, 2009

Man City adds more firepower with Adebayor signing

MANCHESTER, England (AP) Emmanuel Adebayor became the third striker to join Manchester City in the offseason on Saturday, leaving Arsenal to boost its Premier League rival's already extensive attacking options.

The Togo international signed a five-year deal at the end of a week that began with Argentina forward Carlos Tevez joining from Manchester United. Manager Mark Hughes had already recruited Paraguay striker Roque Santa Cruz from Blackburn last month.

"Along with the other signings we have made in the last two windows, he will greatly enhance our ability to compete with the top sides," Hughes said. "Emmanuel has been one of the top forwards in the Premier League since he arrived from France and we are delighted he has agreed to come and join us."

Adebayor won nothing at Arsenal since joining from Monaco more than three years ago. He is hopeful that will change, with City now bankrolled by a big-spending Abu Dhabi owner.

"This is a team, maybe in one year or two years, that will be one of the best in the world," the 2008 African player of the year said.

The 25-year-old Adebayor's transfer fee was reported to be about £25 million ($41 million).

"His arrival is another clear indication that we are determined to augment the players we have here with the best of international talent," Hughes said. "He adds vital balance and power to our attack. He has everything a top forward needs. He is versatile, powerful, quick and agile on the ball."

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger added: "I am sure he will give something special to Manchester City — we will miss him."

Apart from Tevez and Santa Cruz, Adebayor will be joining an attack that also contains record signing Robinho and Craig Bellamy, as Hughes continues to transform his squad using the wealth of the club's Abu Dhabi owner.

"We have got a number of strikers," Hughes said. "It's about making sure we are able to get everybody up to the right level and we can make sure against any given opposition we have the right combinations."

The need for more options was highlighted Saturday as Valeri Bojinov, Felipe Caicedo, Benjani Mwaruwari and Bellamy all failed to find the net as City lost 2-0 to Orlando Pirates on a preseason tour of South Africa.

Reysol loses again

KASHIWA , Chiba Pref. (Kyodo) Leandro struck twice as Asian club champion Gamba Osaka beat struggling Kashiwa Reysol 2-0 to snap a three-match losing skid in the J. League on Sunday.

The Brazilian striker swept home the opener from the penalty spot on 54 minutes before completing his brace with a league-leading 11th of the season midway through the second half, compounding a miserable week for Reysol in the process.

With incoming manager Nelsinho watching from the stands following the sacking on Wednesday of Shinichiro Takahashi, Kashiwa enjoyed the better of the first-half in steamy conditions.

Veteran striker Hideaki Kitajima's ambitious effort came back off the crossbar on 22 minutes before Lucas saw his header palmed away at the other end in time added on.

But Gamba took the lead when Leandro swept home after he had been upended by Kashiwa goalkeeper Takanori Sugeno in the box, and the striker sealed victory by heading in Michihiro Yasuda's cross on 68 minutes.

In Sunday's other games, Bulgarian defender Ilian Stoyanov scored against his old team as Sanfrecce Hiroshima thrashed lowly JEF United Chiba 4-1, while Yu Hasegawa's sixth goal of the campaign sealed Montedio Yamagata's 3-1 win at home to Jubilo Iwata.

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