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first_img The 26-year-old has been with the Liberty Stadium side since making a club-record £14million move from Dutch outfit Vitesse Arnhem in 2013. Just seven weeks ago Bony extended his deal with Swansea until 2018, but the Ivory Coast international is now close to leaving south Wales for the Etihad Stadium. Wilfried Bony is likely to complete his move to Manchester City “in the next few days” and the Swansea striker is excited by the prospect of Champions League football. The striker’s agent, Francis Kacou, expects “things will be sorted in the next few days”, allowing the reported £30million deal to be completed. For the time being talks remain ongoing and Bony, who is jetting off to Abu Dhabi ahead of the African Nations Cup, is excited by what a move to City would bring. “It is going well,” Bony told Sky Sports News. “The discussion is still on. I am now going to join my national team so I am just focused on that. “Every player wants to play Champions League, World Cups. It is the wish of every player. “When you get the opportunity… sometimes good ones, sometimes not, but I am just taking it step by step. “I am focusing on my national team and wait to see the news like you.” Bony has yet to have a medical with City and his agent confirmed there are “some small details about money” to sort out. Reports suggest he will pen a four-and-a-half-year deal worth £100,000 per week, with the striker eligible for Manuel Pellegrini’s side in both the Champions League and FA Cup. center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on October 25, 2012 at 1:25 am Contact David: [email protected] | @DBWilson2 Walking around campus has been a bit more of an adventure lately for Beau Blankenship. Whether he’s in class or around the university grounds, people take the opportunity to talk to one of the stars of the undefeated Ohio football team.With a 7-0 start and the Bobcats’ first-ever ranking in the Bowl Championship Series standings, the team gets some more recognition on campus. People are excited to be witnessing OU history.“A lot more people are asking stuff now that we’re ranked and there’s definitely a buzz around here,” said Blankenship, Ohio’s starting running back. “It’s great and we just got to keep it up, but it’s fun being a part of it.”On Sunday, the Bobcats cracked the Top 25 of the BCS standings for the first time in program history. OU is one of just two non-BCS conference teams, excluding Notre Dame, in the Top 25. While it sits behind Boise State, it’s the lone unbeaten non-BCS team.The success hasn’t come as a surprise to members of the team after a 10-4 season capped with a 24-23 victory over Utah State in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“We knew with a bunch of the guys coming back that — building off that bowl game — that we were going to have a good chance at having some success,” quarterback Tyler Tettleton said.The Bobcats’ newfound success can be tied back to the arrival of head coach Frank Solich.In the decade before Solich’s arrival, OU never won a Mid-Atlantic Conference East championship. Under Solich, Ohio won three and has been to four bowl games in the past six seasons, culminating with the school’s first bowl victory last season.Solich compiled a 58-19 record in six seasons as the head coach at Nebraska, where he appeared to have gotten the Cornhuskers back on track by winning a conference title in 1999, sharing the Big 12 North in 2001 and a loss in the national championship at the end of that season. Still, new athletic director Steve Pederson fired the head coach in 2003 to bring in his own coach, Bill Callahan.After taking a season off, Solich arrived at OU ready to build a program from the ground up.“He’s one of the main reasons I came to Ohio,” Tettleton said. “He’s really taught us a lot — just being tough, consistent, just competing each and every day. We’ve been so great over the past three, four years, just consistently improving. … He’s really got us headed in the right direction.”After a bowl victory, the next step would be the BCS, an accomplishment within reach for the Bobcats.Every unbeaten bowl-eligible team other than the Fighting Irish and Kansas State still has at least one game left against another undefeated team — Alabama and Florida will face each other in the SEC championship game if they run the table. At most, there will only be five undefeated teams that can qualify for a bowl at season’s end: UND, KSU, an SEC team, a Pac-12 team and Ohio.Winning out won’t guarantee the Bobcats a spot in a BCS game, but a spotless resume in a solid MAC could be enough to convince voters and computers alike.“It’s not an oddity now for a MAC team to have a winning season and to be playing really very, very good football,” Solich said during the MAC coaches’ teleconference on Monday. “When you have a number of teams to be able to do that in one conference, then that becomes easier for one team just to kind of separate themselves from the conference and show that they are a BCS-caliber-type team.”But for all the success the MAC has had, it’s all been quiet. Ohio has arguably been the conference’s most successful team, but it’s ranked for the first time. Opponents won’t notice the conference’s success until they have a marquee team playing in a marquee bowl as Boise State did.“That’s tremendous for our conference, there’s no question about that,” Miami (Ohio) head coach Don Treadwell said during the teleconference. “What they’re receiving right now is very deserving and I think it’s positive for all of us.”But just breaking into the Top 25 won’t be enough; OU needs to stay.That, Solich said, is a whole different challenge. The head coach who once rebuilt a perennial power at NU preaches the same game-by-game approach that made Nebraska successful during his tenure.“The only way we’ve been able to get where we’re at is by not overlooking anybody, taking it one game at a time and playing our best football,” Solich said.Still, the success is a unique experience for Ohio. For once, it could be the Bobcats, not in-state foe Ohio State, playing in a BCS game.As much as the OU players focus on the game in front of them, they still take the time to look around.They’ve already made Ohio history. They may not be completely satisfied yet, but they’ve enjoyed the ride so far.“It’s a blast being 7-0,” Blankenship said. “It’s fun playing with these guys and having the success and being on a ranked team. It’s all fun, so I’m trying to take it all in.”Game of the WeekNo. 8 Oklahoma vs. No. 5 Notre DameNotre Dame has been as impressive as any team in the country this season, and if the Fighting Irish win out they have a very legitimate chance to reach the national championship game. Much of that has to do with a dominant defense anchored by Heisman Trophy candidate linebacker Manti Te’o.Saturday’s game will be a contrast of styles. UND boasts the nation’s No. 2 scoring defense — behind only No. 1 Alabama — while Oklahoma has the No. 5 scoring offense. Notre Dame’s defense should be able to keep the Sooners offense in check, so the key will be if safety Tony Jefferson and OU’s No. 12 scoring defense can frustrate an inconsistent Fighting Irish offense. Commentslast_img read more