London: New signing Edin Dzeko made himself popular with Manchester City fans by having a dig at local rivals United Tuesday.
The 24-year-old Bosnia striker, who signed Friday from Wolfsburg for a reported fee of 30 million pounds ($46.72 million), wasted little time in pointing out that many United fans are said to live outside Manchester whereas City’s stronghold is in the city itself.
“For me it’s a big club with a big ambition, a big project,” he told reporters in confident English.
“I hear a lot about the fans and I hear also that most of the people from Manchester are Manchester City fans.”
That would have been music to the ears of the club’s success-starved supporters who hope Dzeko’s prolific scoring record in the Bundesliga will translate in the Premier League to boost City’s hopes of overhauling United in the title race.
If he is as comfortable in opposing penalty areas as he was in front of the cameras Tuesday, Dzeko could prove to be more successful than two of City’s other big-money strikers Roque Santa Cruz and Emmanuel Adebayor, both currently out of favour and possibly out of the club.
“I’ve never played in England but I hope that Saturday will be my first game here,” Dzeko said. “I had a lot of success in Germany and now I’m here I want to do my best for City.
“I want to do my best to show the people that this money that Manchester City paid for me was good.
“I was very happy at Wolfsburg but wanted to try something new, something better.”
Dzeko finished top of the German scoring charts last season with 22 goals and will give City coach Roberto Mancini greater firepower alongside the workaholic Carlos Tevez.
Mancini said he was relieved to have Dzeko on board but added several other City players could be heading out.
“I’m very happy that we bought him, he will be very important for the future of Manchester City,” Mancini said. “He gives us a good mix and I think now we have one of the best strike forces in Europe.”
“Roque it’s possible (that he will leave) because I think he’s a good guy and it’s important for him,” Mancini said.
“Emmanuel we’ll have to wait and see, we will see in the next days.”
Mancini also confirmed that left back Wayne Bridge was having talks with relegation-threatened West Ham United about a possible loan move.
City, who are second, two points behind United in the table having played two games more, face Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday.