Iraqi star Nashat Akram in Man City signing talks

The Times says Akram, 23, has impressed Sven-Goran Eriksson while on a ten-day trial and is in talks about making a permanent move from Al-Ain, for whom he plays in the United Arab Emirates. He underwent a medical examination yesterday and has been invited to discuss personal terms.

One of his compatriots, the late Youra Eshaya, played for Bristol Rovers in the mid-1950s, but Akram, who recently finished third in the Asian Player of the Year awards, stands to be the first Iraqi to play in a top European league in modern times.