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Sven swoops for Bianchi
Man City secure Ronaldo Bianchi while Ryan Babel heads to Liverpool.
Last Modified: 13 Jul 2007 15:53 GMT

Ronaldo Bianchi: The man to break City's drought? [GALLO/GETTY]

New Manchester City manager Sven-Goran Eriksson has made his first signing buying striker Ronaldo Bianchi from Italian side Reggina.
 
The length of contract for the Italian was not disclosed, with reports putting the fee at $17.9 million.
 
The 24 year old, who scored 18 goals in Serie A last season, is seen as the answer to City’s scoring woes.
The team netted just 29 times last season and finished 14th.
 
It failed to score at home from Jan. 1 until the end of the season.
 
"He scored nearly 20 goals last season in Serie A, which is a lot of goals in such a difficult league," Eriksson said.

"He's young, and I think it's a very important signing because he should have a great future. He's a good footballer as well as a good goal scorer, which is what we need."

Bianchi has also played at Atalanta and Cagliari in Italy. Eriksson said Bianchi would be the first of several new signings.

Manchester City has yet to replace defender Sylvain Distin and midfielder Joey Barton, who were sold this offseason.

Eriksson took over as Manchester City manager on July 6, after former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra gained control of the club.

Babel joins Kop

Meanwhile, Netherlands forward Ryan Babel says he signed a five-year deal with Liverpool because of manager Rafa Benitez.

"He is like the ideal father-in-law," Babel he said.

"He has a lot of football know-how and he told me that I would be challenging with six other players for four positions. I have a good feeling about things.

Ryan Babel: Keen to play under Rafa the Gafa
[GALLO/GETTY]
"It was very important how the coach spoke to me, how I would fit in his
team. After that conversation, I knew it was the right decision."

Babel will wear the No. 19 shirt after moving from Ajax, which said the
transfer fee was $23 million.

Yossi Benayoun, who signed a four-year deal at Liverpool on Thursday, will wear the No. 11 shirt.

The Israel captain moved from West Ham in a deal reportedly worth $10.1 million.

Source:
Agencies
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