Afternoon Ticker: Balotelli seals City switch, Bravo to join Kansas City and more

Afternoon Ticker: Balotelli seals City switch, Bravo to join Kansas City and more

European Soccer

Afternoon Ticker: Balotelli seals City switch, Bravo to join Kansas City and more

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Balotelli

By TRAVIS CLARK

Enigmatic Italian striker Mario Balotelli signed with Manchester City, one day prior to the start of the Premier League season.

Inter Milan sent the 20-year-old to the Eastlands in exchange for a reported fee of £24 million, ending a long summer of speculation about the striker's future. Balotelli passed a medical in Manchester and signed a five-year deal with the Premier League club. The move comes the same week that the striker made his full international debut in a friendly against Ivory Coast.

Balotelli is reunited with Roberto Mancini, who managed the striker while in charge of Inter Milan back in 2008. Manchester City is reported to also be finishing up a deal for Aston Villa midfielder James Milner. They open the season against Tottenham Saturday morning.

Here are a few other stories for Friday afternoon:

OMAR BRAVO SIGNS WITH WIZARDS, TO JOIN IN 2011

MLS has a new Designated Player, but one who won't suit up until the 2011 season. The Kansas City Wizards agreed to a deal that will see Mexican striker Omar Bravo join the Wizards ahead of next season, as the striker is going to be loaned back to his current club Chivas de Guadalajara for the rest of the Mexican Apertura season. As part of the deal, the Wizards and Chivas will each host a friendly against each other in 2011.

RAMIRES MAKES CHELSEA SWITCH

Chelsea FC added depth to their midfield, acquiring 24-year-old Brazilian midfielder Ramires from Benfica. The reported fee of £17 million comes just one year after Benfica brought Ramires to Portugal from Brazilian club Cruzeiro for just £6.2 million. He's the second player to join Chelsea during the transfer window this summer.

MANCHESTER UNITED SIGN PORTUGUESE STRIKER

Another striker is on his way to Manchester, but this one is more of an unknown. Manchester United announced the signing of Bebe, a Poruguese striker from Vitória de Guimarães. The signing comes just five weeks after Bebe signed a five-year deal with Vitoria, after his third division club Estrela da Amadora couldn't afford his wages. The acquisition came from the recommendation of Portugal national team manager and former United assistant Carlos Queiroz.

MLS NOTES

Philadelphia Union announced that they will play a friendly against Chivas de Guadalajara on September 1.

Sounders FC placed midfielder Brad Evans on the Injured Reserves. He'll be eligible to return October 2. Seattle also recalled Mike Fucito off the Disabled List.

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What do you think of Balotelli's move? Excited to see Bravo joining MLS? Think Ramires will succeed in the Premier League? What do you make of Bebe?

Share your thoughts below.

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