Man City snap up Sevilla winger Jesus Navas

Sevilla have announced that they accepted a bid from Manchester City for Spanish international Jesus Navas late on Monday night.

Man City snap up Sevilla winger Jesus Navas
France's midfielder Franck Ribery (R) vies with Spain's forward Jesus Navas (L) during a 2014 World Cup qualifier. Photo: Miguel Medina/AFP

On Monday, Sevilla accepted the offer of the English club, bearing in mind the wishes of the player who will have to pass a medical.

"Jesus Navas will leave Sevilla to go to Manchester City," said a statement on the club's website.

Navas, after 10 seasons in the first team and a performance level that places him as the best winger in Nervion's history, wants to continue his successful sporting career in English football, more specifically at a club where he can continue growing as a player, as he has publicly declared on various occasions in recent months.

The 27-year-old, who has represented his country on 23 occasions, made 393 appearances in his 10 years with Los Nervioneses.

Navas enjoyed great success early in his career with Sevilla as part of the side that won back-to-back UEFA Cups in 2006 and 2007, as well as the Copa del Rey in 2007 and 2010.

However, the opportunity to move on from the Spanish side earlier in his career was impeded by severe homesickness and anxiety whenever he was away from his home province for extended periods.

That anxiety also delayed his international career until he accepted a call-up from Spain boss Vicente del Bosque in November 2009.

Such was his impact on the international side that Del Bosque took him to South Africa for the World Cup in 2010.

Navas was involved in the build-up to Andres Iniesta's goal in the final that handed Spain their first-ever World Cup triumph.

Navas was also part of the Spanish team that retained the European Championship last year

His arrival in Manchester seems to be further evidence that Malaga coach Manuel Pellegrini will succeed Roberto Mancini as City manager.

Pellegrini has already declared that he is to leave Malaga come the end of the season and admitted last week to having a verbal agreement with City in place. 

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Sevilla curse their luck after letting Bayern lead slip

Sevilla ended their Champions League quarter-final first leg against Bayern Munich wondering what might have been, just as they had against Barcelona three days earlier.

Sevilla curse their luck after letting Bayern lead slip
Sevilla's Spanish forward Sandro Ramirez stretches his jersey during the UEFA Champions League quarter-final first leg football match between Sevilla FC and Bayern Munich. Photo: AFP

They had chances and were the better side for large spells of their 2-1 defeat at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium, but Bayern, like Barcelona, needed only a moment to strike.

Vincenzo Montella said afterwards his players had not had luck on their side and there was some truth in that.

Franck Ribery's cross was heading wide until Jesus Navas dangled out a foot and Thiago Alcantara's header would probably have been saved had it not been diverted by Sergio Escudero.

But for all their energy, verve and aggression, Sevilla have shown this week they still lack the control to manage matches against elite opposition.    

Against Bayern, they led for only six minutes, allowing their opponents to reach half-time level when they could easily have been two goals down as Pablo Sarabia, Sevilla's scorer, had planted an earlier, easier chance wide.

“With that opportunity it was a pity,” Sarabia said. “I tried to adjust it to the maximum and I did not hit the target.”

Against Barcelona they had conceded twice after holding a deserved 2-0 lead with just two minutes to go.

“We were a little lacking this side of experience… how to talk to the referee, and to be focused on small details,” Sevilla striker Wissam Ben Yedder said.

“We know that it will be very complicated because now we have to (score) two goals there but we know that everything is possible.”   

Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes said he believed the timing of his side's equaliser, just before the break, was a psychological turning-point.    

Scoring twice at the Allianz Arena next week is not beyond Sevilla, who can take heart from the numerous occasions they broke through Bayern on Tuesday — but it is hard to see them keeping a clean sheet.

After the second leg, they play Celta Vigo and Villarreal in La Liga before a reunion in the Spanish Cup final with Barcelona, who this time are likely to have Lionel Messi for 90 minutes.

If they are knocked out by Bayern and lose to Barca, Sevilla will be relying on their league position to qualify for Europe next season — they currently sit seventh, only two points ahead of Girona.

Bayern, meanwhile, know they will have to improve with striker Robert Lewandowski, whose name continues to be linked with Real Madrid, virtually anonymous.

It was the 34-year-old Ribery who made the difference. “In the first half we were not well organised,” Ribery said.   

“We did not play in front, at the break the coach gave us a telling off. Seville is a very good team who plays very well in football, but we reacted well after the 1-0.

“We must not believe that we are already in the semi-finals.”