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Thaksin spending power to win Man City Afonso Alves race

The spending power of Manchester City chairman Thaksin Shinawatra is expected to win them the race for Heerenveen striker Afonso Alves.

The Independent says sources suggest that representatives of City's owner, Thaksin Shinawatra, met those of the striker's club, Heerenveen, in Amsterdam on Wednesday and tabled a €12m (£8.3m) bid for the 26-year-old. Heerenveen are believed to be looking for €20m, though the add-ons the Shinawatra contingent is believed to have offered - including appearance incentives and bonuses for Champions League qualification - would take the figure closer to the asking price.

Eriksson has discovered in the form of Elano the benefits of buying Brazilian and Alves is rumoured to have attracted the interest of Sunderland, Middlesbrough and Portsmouth. But the City wages on offer would make them favourites to sign him.

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