City seal Savic signing
Manchester City have completed the capture of Montenegro defender Stefan Savic from Partizan Belgrade on a four-year contract. The 20-year-old has been granted a work permit by the Home Office and becomes City's second signing in three days following the arrival of Gael Clichy from Arsenal.
He moves to the Premier League 12 months after a trial period with the Gunners ended without Arsene Wenger declaring an interest. At the time, it was thought Savic would only have cost the Gunners £2m.
That City might be paying up to five times that sum indicates how well Savic has performed both for Partizan Belgrade, who won the Serbian title last term, and Montenegro, who have rocketed up the FIFA rankings and represent the greatest threat to England's hopes of automatic qualification for Euro 2012.
Indeed, when the two countries fought out a goalless draw at Wembley in October, Savic came face to face with five current City players. "I never imagined that I'd be team-mates with all those City players within a year," he told www.mcfc.co.uk.
Savic's arrival reveals Roberto Mancini's belief that his defence needs strengthening if it is to prove durable enough to challenge for top honours next term after breaking a 35-year trophy drought by landing the FA Cup last season.
Savic will now play alongside Serbia's Aleksandar Kolarov and Bosnian Edin Dzeko, who both hail from the same region. Indeed, Kolarov has already been in touch. "It is a dream come true and I am especially looking forward to meeting Edin and Aleksandar because they both speak my language and come from the Balkans, too," said Savic.
"Aleks has already phoned me to welcome to City which makes me feel at home already. I watch the Premier League all the time. I know it's the place to be so I am just looking forward to helping this club achieve great things. We have an incredible stadium and I've seen how passionate the City fans are many times on TV. I am just really happy to be a City player."