Keegan eyes Fowler for a City move


Manchester City boss Kevin Keegan is preparing for the January transfer window so he can turn the Maine Road club into a top-six team with striker Robbie Fowler top of his list.

Despite splashing out big money on the likes of Nicolas Anelka and Marc-Vivien Foe during the summer as City prepared for a welcome return to the top flight, Keegan was also given assurances by the City board earlier this month that funds will be made available for a January recruitment campaign.

After overcoming some inconsistent early-season form, City will start 2003 in the top half of the table, three places off the European berth which Keegan targeted at the start of the campaign.

The former England boss admits he is only one or two players short of real quality and if the strong rumours coming out of the club are correct, Leeds striker Robbie Fowler is top of the hit list.

Speculation surrounding a £7million bid for the former Liverpool front-man is growing stronger, even though Fowler has only just returned from an Achilles problem.

"We are looking at one or two areas but we just need a few things to drop into position," said the City boss.

"We don't need many and we will look at the possibility of loan deals but I think we are a good club to come to.

A return to European combat would be the perfect way for City to crown their move to the City of Manchester Stadium during the summer, and Keegan is eager to realise the dream.

Marseille's Algerian midfielder Djamel Belmadi is another target should there be any cash remaining from any possible Fowler deal, although if Leeds do opt to sell they would try to wring as much out of City as they could given the player's £11million price-tag on his arrival from Liverpool barely 18 months ago.

Israeli playmaker Eyal Berkovic will be missing from Wednesday's trip to Everton after picking up a groin strain at the weekend, although the midfielder is hoping to be fit to face Liverpool in Sunday's eye-catching FA Cup clash.