Writer: Johnny Baguette
Date:Thursday March 26 2009
City's much needed international break in action has unsurprisingly got the hacks debating which players the club will attempt to sign this summer...
While Mark Hughes regroups his players for the final push of a gruelling season and many of our called up international stars withdraw from their countries teams injured, focus has turned again towards City squad strengthening matters.
It's well known that City's extensive scouting network have been jetting about in all directions monitoring top quality players. The word around the club is that following the chastening experience of 'Kakagate' at the hands of AC Milan's hierarchy, City will not be going back there to do business.
Brazilian destiny could well be the key to what happens next transfer wise at City no matter which way we look at it. Will the management keep the faith with our Samba players erratic ways and aim to build a squad around them or cut their losses....?
Elano, for his fining and inability to really get going this season has improved his stamina and form in recent weeks, but that's about it. He's not a Hughes favourite, that's for sure, when you consider his substitutions.
The Thaksin Shinawatra signed Jô, currently on loan at Everton has been absolutely brutal in the main and we all know there are far better target men out there with half decent first touches. No matter what Mark Hughes recently said about Jô's future, he could well be up the road.
FC Nuremberg loanee Gláuber Berti remains an inexplicable mystery and should he ever make a City appearance, he'll surely have difficulty running with so many splinters stuck in his backside.
And of course, there's our record signing Robinho. This brilliant footballer has coped amazingly well considering the baggage that follows him everywhere, but his level of performance has nosedived since the turn of the year.
A fining for doing one from the January Tenerife Training camp and a Leeds Police investigation that we haven't heard anything more about could well have weighed heavy upon him. His terrible missed penalty against Sunderland belied a shattered confidence and lack of self belief.
The player himself has admitted from the Brazil camp this week that he plays alongside a different level of player for his national side than at City. Is that what he needs in order to establish himself in England?
We all want Robinho to succeed at City and his 12 goals for the club have shown that he can cut it in a Premier League side, but
you sense that City's crucial run in to the end of the season could decide whether or not he is sacrificed, perceived as a mirror image of City's inconsistency this season.
Debate continues across the Vital MC Forums as to whom City will move for at the end of May. Bayern Munich's superb Franck Ribéry, the never say die Frenchman known as 'Scarface' in la Republique would be an ideal acquisition.
Barcelona's Thierry 'Terry' Henry is another international great with a wealth of experience that would help bring along the City Academy backbone of developing star players that His Highness Sheikh Mansour has underlined a commitment to.
When the dust settles upon this long season, we can be sure that Manchester City will remain at the epicentre of the football world's debate.
Will Mark Hughes build a squad around Robinho and The Academy lads or choose to de-Samba City? Give us your views both here and in our buzzing Forums!
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Date:Thursday March 26 2009
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