Manchester City move for Anthony Caceres, Mariners boss confirms

Central Coast Mariners playmaker Anthony Caceres looks set to become Manchester City's surprise first signing of the January transfer window after his club confirmed an approach from the Premier League side.

Caceres, 23, has featured regularly for the A-League side this season and, despite the Mariners sitting last on the table, has shown enough form to catch the eye of the title-chasers at the Etihad Stadium.

"I can confirm we have been approached by Manchester City about a potential move and we are in discussions," Caceres' manager, Tony Rallis told Fox Sports.

"We also understand that Mike Charlesworth, the Mariners chairman, has agreed a fee with City.

"However we need to ascertain what the long-term future would hold for Anthony in this situation, and where all parties see him ending up. Making decisions based on romance or short-term financial considerations is in nobody's interest."

Mariners coach Tony Walmsley admitted that he had been caught off-guard with the news, but backed Caceres to make an impression at the Etihad if a deal goes ahead.

"I didn't know there was any public information out there until I heard that this morning," Reuters quotes Walmsley as telling reporters.

"I do know that Mike Charlesworth has been in dialogue with the City Group.

"Caceres has got a transfer fee built into his contract.

"If Mike and the head of the City Group have come to an agreement, I've yet to be told that's the case.

"But if it is, what a great opportunity for Caceres to go and try and reach the potential we all think he's got."

Caceres, who is yet to be capped by Australia at senior level, is set to become the second A-League player Manchester City have bought this season after former Brisbane Roar midfielder Luke Brattan, who headed to the Etihad in October. The 25-year-old was immediately loaned to Championship club Bolton Wanderers, where he is yet to make an appearance this season.

Manchester City are owned by the City Football Group, which also owns New York City FC, Melbourne City FC and holds a share in J-League side Yokohama F. Marinos.