Clarke boost for Sky Blues
Wed, 12 Jun 2013 11:28:00
Hamburg's new sporting director Oliver Kreuzer has announced he wants to thin out the squad for next season and named a trio of players he wants to offload.
Kreuzer told German newspaper Bild he no longer requires the services of midfielders Gojko Kacar and Robert Tesche, as well as striker Marcus Berg.
"We want to thin out the squad," Kreuzer said.
"We have told ourselves that there is no more value of work with this trio."
Kreuzer has also set his sights on bringing Malaga striker Roque Santa Cruz to the Imtech Arena.
"(Santa Cruz is) an interesting player," Kreuzer added.
"If such a man is on the market, you should take care of it.
"Santa Cruz fits squarely into our requirements. He can play alone up front, hold up the ball and that takes a certain amount of experience."
In a deal that emulates some of the many Manchester United have struck in their expanding sponsorship portfolio, Daihatsu will become City's official automotive partner in Indonesia next season.
City players will film a TV advert and will visit Indonesia this summer during the pre-season tour of south-east Asia.
Tom Glick, City's chief commercial and operating officer, said: "To be chosen as Daihatsu's first-ever football club partner is not only a huge privilege, but a compliment to City's growing appeal around the world."
Jones, 29, dislocated a shoulder in the 2-2 draw at Carlisle at the end of March and has not played since, although he is well on his way to being fully fit in time for the start of the new League One season on August 3.
Manager Graham Turner told the club's official website: "Darren is back off holiday now and is due to come in and start working with physio Chris Skitt.
"He's got a good chance of being into full training early in the pre-season programme.
"There has been a rapid recovery for him. He's worked really hard and it's looking okay.
"He might not start the first few days of pre-season but it won't be long into the programme before he's amongst us."
The crisis club's off-field troubles have dominated the headlines since the end of last term, with a transfer embargo also providing supporters with little reason for cheer during the close season.
But news that leading marksman Clarke has started running on grass this week with a view to being ready for pre-season on June 28 will certainly be welcome.
It comes after the 28-year-old was forced to cut short a prolific campaign which had seen him bag 21 goals in order to undergo surgery on a troublesome ankle injury.
Clarke, who played his last game for City at the start of March, told the club's official website: "I was really enjoying my football last season so it was just disappointing to have to end it so early but the pain was at a point where it was unbearable.
"I spoke to the gaffer and the physio and we all agreed it was better for me to have the op and be ready for pre-season than try and finish the season and then put myself out until November."
He added: "I've been running for the past three weeks on the treadmill but it's been great to get out on the grass.
"It felt a bit weird at first to be honest because I've had to work on my technique so I don't put so much pressure on one side, trying to compensate for the other, but the physio says I'm doing fine and that everything is going to plan.
"It means I'll be back for the first day of pre-season fit and flying and the news that we will be playing football so early in pre-season is great because you want that to help your fitness as soon as you can."
The Sky Blues face non-league Nuneaton in their first friendly on July 13 before flying to Holland for a pre-season tour the following day.