Kolo Toure is top of Manchester City's wishlist and thought to be close to signing for £15million as the big-spenders turn their attention from attack to defence to complete their spending in time for the new season.
City are confident of securing Toure's transfer from Arsenal by the end of this week, in a move which would take manager Mark Hughes' spending this summer close to the £100million mark.
With City also reportedly set to make an improved offer to Everton for another central defender, Joleon Lescott, talks with Arsenal are continuing - and Gunners manager Arsene Wenger has conceded the Ivory Coast defender may be leaving north London.
It is understood City are very optimistic of wrapping up a deal for the 28-year-old.
Hughes has already spent £80.5million - including £25million on Emmanuel Adebayor from Arsenal as well as the costly signings of Roque Santa Cruz, Carlos Tevez and Gareth Barry.
Wenger has insisted, however, that a deal for Toure - who played for Arsenal on Monday night in a pre-season friendly in Hungary - is not definite.
The manager told Arsenal TV: "We will see what's happening in the next 24 hours - nothing is decided yet.
"We have seven centre-backs, and I am in the position where I have to play some in midfield. But of course, Kolo is a very good player - and we will see what will happen in the next 24 hours."
City's spending could see them in direct competition with Arsenal for a Champions League place next season.
So far, Wenger has made just one signing - central defender Thomas Vermaelen from Ajax.
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