Russians plot City raid as Yaya deal close
Zenit St Petersburg and Anzhi are set to move for Manchester City misfit Maicon in the summer while Yaya Toure is set for a new deal.
Toure is understood to be close to agreeing a new, improved contract at the Etihad that will ensure he remains the best paid player in the Premier League.
Rumours had been rife over the past fortnight with Toure's agent talking up a situation that put the world's biggest clubs on red alert, but a deal is apparently close after a week of high-level negotiations.
In truth, Toure's only options to better his current pay deal would have been in Russia with neither of the big two in Spain prepared to spend big to take him back there and no English club able to match his wage package.
Meanwhile, Maicon is heading towards a summer exit with Zenit and Anzhi leading the chase for the Brazilian right-back who was once regarded as one of the most formidable in world football.
He has been largely overlooked by Roberto Mancini, who has preferred to use Pablo Zabaleta while Micah Richards is also now close to a first-team comeback.
Richards and Maicon returned with the Under-21s for their draw against Crystal Palace last night.
Darcey Blake's 17th-minute header was cancelled out on the stroke of half-time by a Connor Dymond own goal in another breathless meeting between the teams.
Richards played the first half while Maicon featured for 65 minutes, putting both defenders in contention for Monday' derby at Manchester United.