The Club has tonight confirmed that Rolando Bianchi has left Manchester City to join Torino on a five-year deal.
The Italian striker was Sven-Goran Eriksson's first signing last summer and despite scoring the Blues' first goal of the season at Upton Park last August, by January he had fallen out of favour and went back to Serie A to join Lazio on loan until the end of the season.The official Torino website this evening reported: "Torino are pleased to announce they have permanently signed the footballer Rolando Bianchi from Manchester City.
"The striker has signed a five-year contract.
"Tonight, a few minutes before the start of Torino versus Brescia, Rolando will greet the Granata fans together with president Urbano Cairo.
"The official presentation to the press will happen during next week."
And so officially ends a City career that started off with so much promise.
Bianchi arrived much-hyped as Sven's first signing on the back of a succesful Serie A season for Reggina and enjoyed a goal scoring debut at West Ham, but appeared to fall foul of Sven early in the season and was jettisoned for the most part with Mpenza often trusted as the lone man in the 4-5-1 formation.A loan spell at Lazio was set to result in a permanent move during the summer but his option was not picked up and he returned to the club after a far more stellar six months at The Stadio Olimpico.
Although he featured in a couple of pre-season games, he departs a well trodden path of players who have arrived in the Premier League from Serie A with much fanfare, only to exit without success - with strikers in particular prone to struggles.
Perhaps Bianchi was too young when he arrived at the club, or perhaps the strong season he had prior to joining us was not an indication of his true talent but I'm sure most fans will feel a degree of frustration that his City career panned out in such a manner, and he now has plenty to prove as he tries to pick up his career at the Granata.
The bonus with the deal of course is that it is a permanent move, and the fee (unconfirmed, but believed to be around £5 million) and saving on wages can no doubt be put to good use over the next week as Mark Hughes seeks to make further additions to the squad ahead of the transfer deadline - with the reports linking Thiago Neves growing ever stronger.