Bridge poised for City switch

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Wayne Bridge is set to become Mark Hughes' first signing of what is expected to be a busy transfer window for Manchester City.

The England left-back was given permission to speak to City on Friday after Chelsea accepted a fee reported to be in the region of £12million. Bridge is believed to have travelled to Manchester on Friday night to discuss personal terms with the Eastlands outfit and could complete his move on Saturday subject to a medical.

Hughes said: "My understanding is the clubs have agreed a fee. We need to speak to the boy and try to agree personal terms. If we can do that hopefully Wayne will be a Manchester City player, that's the aim."

City's takeover by the wealthy Abu Dhabi United Group in September has put them in the enviable position of being able to spend big this month, unlike the majority of their Barclays Premier League counterparts, who have been left reeling from the effects of the global economic downturn.

City have been linked with several players including West Ham striker Craig Bellamy, Arsenal's Kolo Toure and Blackburn front man Roque Santa Cruz as they look to climb away from the relegation zone.

Hughes, who, according to reports, has a transfer kitty of £60million to spend in the window, crossed paths with Bridge while the former was in the twilight of his time at Southampton, where the full-back had just signed his first professional contract.

Bridge was 18 at the time and went on to establish himself as a first-team regular before making a £7million move to Stamford Bridge in 2003.

"He is a player I knew when I was at Southampton and he was coming through the ranks," said Hughes.

"He was outstanding and has progressed year on year. I would be delighted to welcome him here.

"Wayne is already a successful player - he is an England international who plays for one of the top four clubs in the country."

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Manchester City
Blackburn Rovers
Wayne Bridge
Mark Hughes
Craig Bellamy
Premier League
Kolo Toure
Roque Santa Cruz
Mark Hughes

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