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Defender Bridge poised for Man City switch

  • Story Highlights
  • England international left-back Wayne Bridge poised to join Manchester City
  • Chelsea accept a fee of $17m for the 28-year-old ex-Southampton defender
  • Bridge to be first of many new signings made by City manager Mark Hughes
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(CNN) -- Chelsea's England left-back Wayne Bridge is on the brink of a £12 million ($17.3 million) move to Premier League rivals Manchester City.

Bridge looks set to become Manchester City's first big-name signing during the January transfer window.

Bridge looks set to become Manchester City's first big-name signing during the January transfer window.

The London club have confirmed that Bridge has been given permission to talk to mega-rich City about personal terms, after a fee between the clubs was agreed, and a move is expected to be wrapped up in the next 48 hours.

Bridge joined Chelsea from Southampton in 2003 and has made 143 appearances for the club.

However, the 28-year-old 's first team opportunites have been limited since the arrival of fellow-England international Ashley Cole from Arsenal in 2006 and he has now been deemed surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge.

City manager Mark Hughes is thought to have a £60 million ($86.5 million) transfer kitty at his disposal and has already made Bridge his first target in what could be a busy transfer window.

A spokesman for Chelsea told PA Sport: "Manchester City have come in with an interest in Wayne and the club have given him permission to speak to them.

"That's where we are. It's still a moving picture. Both sides will have something to announce if there is something to announce."

Chelsea coach Luiz Felipe Scolari added that he was happy for Bridge to go if the deal was right for the club. "If they have a good deal, it is no problem for me," said Scolari.

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"If any club wants to buy a player from Chelsea, they have to offer big money because if they play for Chelsea they are very good players."

Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon has already made it clear to Scolari he needs to sell players before he can think about adding to his squad in the transfer window but the Brazilian coach still maintains he is not looking to sign anyone.

"I don't say to Peter that I need to buy some players -- I have a good squad," Scolari reiterated. "If I want a player I tell Peter first but I have not done so in 2008 or today. I'm happy with my players here, I don't want other players."

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