City continue Johnson chase

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Manchester City are believed to have made an increased bid for Middlesbrough winger Adam Johnson.

The Blues had a £5million offer for the 22-year-old rejected last week but are now thought to have contacted the Teesside outfit once more with a substantially improved bid.

Boro boss Gordon Strachan has stated he expects Johnson to still to be at the Riverside after Monday's 5pm transfer deadline, but chairman Steve Gibson might be reluctant to turn down increased terms for a player who will be out of contract at the end of the season.

Johnson was part of the Middlesbrough side that was held to a goalless draw by Bristol City on Saturday.

A product of Boro's highly-rated academy, despite being born in Sunderland, Johnson remained with the club following their relegation from the Premier League last term and it was anticipated he would be part of the club's push for promotion.

Instead, as results have proved difficult for Strachan to come by, Johnson has found himself linked with several top-flight clubs.

However, he is said to have informed Boro officials last week of his desire to hear what City are offering and that is only likely to intensify as Monday's deadline draws near.

The exit of record signing Robinho for Santos has created a space on the left of City's midfield, although it would put him in competition with Craig Bellamy and Martin Petrov.

Johnson's ability to play on the right, as he did so often for Boro before Stewart Downing's summer move to Aston Villa, would be an asset for manager Roberto Mancini.

And, after moving to within a point of a top-four place by beating Portsmouth at Eastlands on Sunday afternoon, City are keen to maintain their momentum and are determined not to miss out on their stated aim by not having enough depth in their squad.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Stewart Downing
Bristol City
Martin Petrov
Manchester City
Craig Bellamy
Premier League
Gordon Strachan
Aston Villa
Adam Johnson

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