Brazilian striker Jo joined Manchester City from CSKA Moscow today for what the English Premier League side said was a "club record" fee. The 21-year-old, capped once by his country, signed a four-year contract and in the process became Mark Hughes's first major signing at Eastlands since he replaced Sven-Goran Eriksson as City manager.
Joao Alves de Assis Silva, to give him his full name, is a left-footed player who joined several fellow Brazilians at CSKA in 2006. He joined the Russian heavyweights from Corinthians, whom he helped to the Brasileiro title in 2005.
It had been reported that City expected to pay around £19 million for Jo, who scored 44 goals in 77 matches for CSKA. "I decided to come to Manchester City because it is one of the clubs who showed more interest in me, although I had other offers as well," said the Sao Paulo native at a press conference announcing his signing.
"After I spoke to the manager (Hughes) I was very pleased. I was told Manchester City is a club going forward at the moment. ."
Jo added Valencia were City's main rivals for his signature. "The club who showed interest officially was Valencia," he said. "I know from the press there were other clubs who showed interest."
Hughes revealed his satisfaction at his first major signing for
City. "He's a big talent and a young man with a big
future," said the Welshman. "A lot has been said about
him and there was a big expectation on him coming out of Brazil.
"So with the success he's had I think it's a real coup that we've been able to bring him to the club. He's a big guy, in stature and in ability, so I think everybody will enjoy watching him play."
During his time with CSKA, Jo won the Russian league and cup in 2006, and also made numerous UEFA Champions League appearances.
Ronaldinho the target
He may not be the only Brazilian joining City, with Hughes confirming they are in the hunt for Barcelona's Ronaldinho. The two-time FIFA World Player of the Year has been told he can leave the Nou Camp, with City, Chelsea and Italy's AC Milan all suggested as potential destinations.
"Basically that's a process that is ongoing," Hughes admitted. "I don't think the process has slowed or accelerated. He's a huge world star and these things, if they are going to happen, are likely to take a bit of time. In the discussions he's had with the club I think he's been very positive about the idea of coming to the club."
Last season City finished ninth in the Premier League, but that was not enough to prevent club chairman Thaksin Shinawatra sacking ex-England head coach Eriksson. The Swede, now in charge of the Mexican national team, was replaced by former Wales and Blackburn Rovers manager Hughes last month.