Reggina say Bianchi set to join Man City

Italy's Rolando Bianchi celebrates his goal against Denmark during their European Under-21 Championship Group B soccer match in Aveiro, Portugal May 24, 2006. Bianchi is poised to become Sven-Goran Eriksson's first signing at Manchester City, the Italian club said on Tuesday. REUTERS/Miguel Vidal

MILAN (Reuters) - Reggina striker Rolando Bianchi is poised to become Sven-Goran Eriksson’s first signing at Manchester City, the Italian club said on Tuesday.

The 24-year-old scored 18 league goals last season as the Serie A side avoided relegation despite an 11-point penalty for their role in Italy’s match-fixing scandal.

“We have reached a preliminary agreement with Manchester City for the permanent transfer of Rolando Bianchi... in a 13 million euro (8.8 million pounds) transfer deal,” Reggina president Pasquale Foti was quoted as saying by British and Italian media.

“The deal will be completed on Wednesday,” he added.

No one at Reggina was available to comment when contacted by Reuters but Manchester City denied they had agreed a fee.

Former England manager Eriksson was named City manager last Friday after a year out of the game following England’s defeat by Portugal in the 2006 World Cup quarter-final in Germany.

He was appointed after former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra bought enough shares to complete a takeover of the club. Eriksson is no stranger to Italy having coached Lazio to a scudetto in 2000 and managed AS Roma, Fiorentina and Sampdoria.