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Manchester City Priced Out Of The Premier League

Manchester City Priced Out Of The Premier League

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It emerged yesterday that Roman Abramovich has officially lost his place as football's richest man to the man behind Manchester City, Sheik Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Chelsea's Russian billionaire has topped FourFourTwo's annual rich list of football owners since arriving in 2003 and in the five years since the takeover, Abramovich has spent around £600m and has seen Chelsea win five major trophies under his tenure.

In September 2008, the arrival of Sheik Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan onto the world footballing stage saw the transfer of power shift from Russia to the Middle East with the Sheik's Abu Dhabi United Group's (ADUG) purchase of Manchester City, in a deal thought to be worth a reported £200m. With a personal fortune of £15bn, Sheik Mansour eclypses Chelsea owner Abramovich's meagre £7bn.

The Sheik's early intentions were clear to see with the capture of the mercurial Robinho from Real Madrid for a British transfer fee record of £32m. Since that deadline day wonder signing, the nation has been eagerly anticipating the arrival of some of the best players in the world to Manchester. As the January transfer window arrived, one could only speculate as to which stars would make up the Manchester City 'Galacticos'.

Seven days into the January window and Manchester City have managed only one signing- the acquisition of Chelsea's experienced 28 year old left-back Wayne Bridge for an estimated- arguably overpriced- £12m.

Recent media reports have thrown up a list of names expected to join Bridge such as Roque Santa Cruz, Craig Bellamy, Joleon Lescott, Shay Given, Scott Parker and Kevin Nolan. These names fall a long way short of the ones which the ostracised Dr Sulaiman Al-Fahim picked in his 'Dream Team' for 'Arabian Business'- Lionel Messi, Cesc Fabregas, Kaka, Gigi Buffon and Cristiano Ronaldo, for whom Al-Fahim said he would pay £135m.

It is clear that Mark Hughes does not want to buy 'Dream Team' signings, but instead wants a host of experienced Premier League players to build the spine of a relatively young, inexperienced and frail squad.

Players such as Lescott and Nolan may not emanate the ambition of the owners, or the fans, but experience is required if we are to become a stronger, more resilient team.

In relation to Manchester City's January transfer spending policy, Mark Hughes told the club's official website, 'We're aware of this assumption about the level of finance that we'll throw at the project in January, but we still have realistic market values...we will not go way above what we think the players are worth.'

Manchester City reportedly had a £15m bid rejected to sign West Ham's Craig Bellamy and Scott Parker, meanwhile, Harry Redknapp confirmed that the 'Hammers' snubbed Tottenham's £6m Bellamy bid.

Since that failed bid for Scott Parker, Manchester City have since turned their attentions to 25 year old Barcelona midfield ace Yaya Touré with a £24m bid. Spanish football expert Guillem Balague states on his website: 'There has been contact made with Barcelona regarding a move for Yaya Touré.' Although this has reportedly been rejected, it underlines the fact that Hughes is turning his attention abroad due to the exorbitant fees being commanded by Premier League clubs.

Further evidence of Manchester City being priced out of the market is the £3.5m to £18m price increase for Roque Santa Cruz after just a single season. Subsequent to this, only yesterday did Blackburn Rovers boss Sam Allardyce state: 'At the moment, we have had no bid'. Surely if Hughes really wanted Santa Cruz he would have lodged a bid with the Blackburn board by now?

Since the announcement of Bayern Munich's talented 23-year-old want-a-way striker Lukas Podolski being on the market for around £10m, it puts the ridiculous cost of Parker, Bellamy and Santa Cruz into perspective. If you are looking for experienced Premier League players, pay over-the-odds or don't bother.

Other prestigious overseas names linked with City in recent days include the likes of Marcos Senna, David Villa, Esteban Cambiasso, Adriano, Daniele De Rossi and Samuel Eto'o. With Premier League players out of Hughes' price range, perhaps it from this list that Hughes is looking to find value for money.

Should Hughes pay over the odds for Premier League experience or should he gamble on untested, but quality foreign players?

Date:Wednesday January 7 2009
Time: 2:27PM


eighthsin first article for Vital MC wit plenty more to come. Nice one mate.
07/01/2009 14:42:00
A top drawer article and spot on. I recall Svennis saying that he did not buy British after Frank took over because of the cost. £15 mill for journeymen like Bellamy is madness. Now we hear that The Hammers are reconsidering cash plus Johnno for Parker. Its beggining to smack of desperation. We're getting the pee taken out of us. Meanwhile, at the risk of sounding boring I'll offer up Mark Van Bommel's name again for the engine room.
Johnny Baguette
07/01/2009 14:48:00
Thanks guys :) Van Bommel is always a good call JB- Keep mentioning him and maybe Hughes will get the hint!
07/01/2009 14:59:00
I would definitely look to the Continent for defenders because as I have mentioned before they adapt far more quickly than attacking players and cost half the price. As regards attackers I think we only need Owen for a couple of bob and swop Jo for Adriano...job done.
07/01/2009 14:59:00
Why we havnt gone for owen yet is beyond me, He's experienced in premier league, a cut above every other striker that we have been linked with and would cost a measley 4 or 5 million. The only other british player I would pay for is probably Joleon Lescott, but again everton would only value him at 10 mil and thats not bad business.
07/01/2009 15:53:00
I think those would be shrewd aquisitions Deejayvu, Owen is better than Defoe and would cost a fraction of the 15m Tottenham spent. I am not sure if Everton would sell Lescott but he is worth a bid. I would also plump for Bullard over 100k a week Parker.
07/01/2009 16:02:00
We wouldn't sell Lescott for £10 million, particularly not to city. It comes with the territory as being seen as the richest club, everyone knows you can pay more, so if your after a player a club doesn't need to sell... We'd want at least 12-15 million anyway, and you could add 5 mil onto that for being City and our board would know if you really wanted him you could easily pay it. If you didn't, we'd be more than happy to keep him! I'd be worried Moyes would be willing to sell if you offered Johnson in part exchange though, even though he's seemingly been non stop injured since his great start to the season under sven last year, Moyes remains a fan and is reportedly going to try and sign him anyway.
07/01/2009 16:07:00
We definitely need something up front and quickly. Uli Hoeneß meanwhile says today that he is confident Van Bommel will sign on with Bayern.
Johnny Baguette
07/01/2009 16:07:00
ITs all too quiet, Hughes says we have made offeres, those players we thought City we going for ie RSC have not been bid for, so at present it's anyones guess.
Buzz Lightyear
07/01/2009 17:09:00
If we have made seven offers, I suspect one was for Parker and was regected. Another two may be for Given and Kolo Toure. That still leaves 4 other signings. I am guessing with the lack of media reports here that the other signings are all from abroad. Expect a foreign midfielder and striker.
07/01/2009 17:13:00
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