Lazio close on Bianchi

City striker in Italy to discuss move

Bianchi: On his way to Lazio

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Lazio have confirmed a deal to sign Manchester City striker Rolando Bianchi is close to completion.

Bianchi, who is also wanted by Torino, is understood to be in Rome to undergo a medical and finalise personal terms for a return to Serie A.

Reports in Italy suggest he will join Lazio on loan until the end of the season with a view to signing a contract until 2012 in the summer.

"There are still all the practicalities left to sort out, such as the medical and signing the contract," Lazio spokesman Giacomo Mazzocchi said.

"But the deal should be completed today or tomorrow."

Bianchi has all but confirmed his departure by issuing a statement on his official website thanking City fans for their support.

"I want to thank the City fans from the bottom of my heart," read the statement.

"They have welcomed me with open arms and made me feel like one of them. I will take in my heart their passion and their attachment to the team.

"I would also like to thank Mr Shinawatra, his family and all the people at

the club for giving me the possibility to play in a beautiful and riveting

tournament such as the Premier League."

The 24-year-old joined City in an £8.8million deal from Reggina last summer and he scored on his debut against West Ham United.

But he has contributed only four more goals this season and has struggled to adjust to the demands of Premier League football.

City boss Sven Goran Eriksson recently admitted it would be a 'pity' if Bianchi left, but understands the player's desire to press his international claims in Italy.