Manchester City - Bizarre Transfer Window Closes!
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Bizarre Transfer Window Closes!

The closure of the January Transfer Window 2008 will be remembered for the bizarre circumstances surrounding Benjani Mwaruwari's late arrival in Manchester...

No doubt all will be revealed, but City spokesman Mr. Tyrell told the club's official website 'Due to the late arrival of the player in Manchester we were unable to complete the transfer.'

Sky Sports, who were stationed outside Eastlands and at Fratton Park for the Defoe transfer from Spurs reported seeing Benjani arrive at City's stadium at 2310 GMT. I'm sure his agent can fill us all in on what happened later today...

In the meantime, the £5 million plus capture of Ecuadorian striker Felipe Caicedo, 19, from Swiss side FC Basel has been confirmed on a four-and-a-half-year contract. 17 year old Filippo Mancini, son of Sven's pal Roberto has also joined City from Inter Milan on loan.

As the transfer window slams shut, it's now clear that The Sven Revolution gathered pace this month albeit stealthily, mainly in one direction. But unfortunately he has not been able to bring in a proven top drawer striker. City have been media linked with an unprecedented 30 to 40 players these past few weeks and now begins the task of getting back to sorting out the team's direction with a now greatly reduced playing squad.

Sven has set about a serious offloading of the City squad's wages, generally in the modern mould of loans with a view to permanent signings. He obviously has a long term plan for the squad and this month's clearout is a strong indicator of what's to come.

The dramatic deadline day swoop for Benjani was one nobody predicted and would have been the first signing Sven made who was already tuned in to the rigours of Premier League football and the physical demands required.

Still, a rumoured fee of around £9 million would have been a hell of a lot to pay for a 30 year old striker.

And so to the transfer recap...

MCFC in the 2008 January Transfer Window:

Nery Castillo - Shakhtar Donetsk
Filippo Mancini - Inter Milan
Felipe Caicedo - FC Basel
£5 200, 000

Rolando Bianchi - Lazio
Ched Evans - Norwich City
Ishmael Miller - West Bromwich Albion
(permanent deal £900,000 up front)
Danny Mills - Derby County
(loan - understand returned injured)
Georgios Samaras - Glasgow Celtic
Paul Dickov - Blackpool
Ousmane Dabo - Lazio
(permanent - free)

Already out on season long loans:
Bernardo Corradi - Parma
Matthew Mills - Doncaster

Preferring to stick around for Manchester Bacon Butties as opposed to Istanbul Kebabs: Andreas Isaksson

The journalist

Writer: Johnny Baguette Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday February 1 2008

Time: 1:50AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
deeply upset, we have failed and are a laughter stock again. tear running down my cheek, really thought we had turned leaf, same old city....woeful
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01/02/2008 04:06:00

Something went badly wrong last night Tommy and there is a need for clarification today from both sides before moving on. 12 months ago we were involved in last ditch bids to sign Mido and Andy O'Brien that thankfully fell through. I can only assume that the reason City ended up in a similar situation last night is because players had to be confirmed as leaving before final deals could be struck. Why else would nothing have happened for four weeks?! Answers please, City. Could have done with that extra firepower but if we get Bojinov and Sturridge right carefully, we'll be laughing at "Benjanigate."
Johnny Baguette
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01/02/2008 04:49:00

Tommy dont beat your-self up! You would still accepted your current position if offered it before the season started. Sven like Martin O'Neill at Villa is building a team, not even you expect it to be done in one season. (tell me you dont)
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01/02/2008 05:22:00

I am more upset at the our inability to organise things. I am not disappointed in losing Benjani agreed JB a lot of money for someone that old and I think a last minute panic buy and was not on my list of must buy players. I am pleased for Pompeycarpet who did not want Benji to leave and we all thought the deal hinged on Defoe going to Pompey,but just a thought 'Arry had to get the paperwork to the FA on time and we were told this was the case and they also said that City had done that too and it maybe that Pompey on the strength of that news said OK deal done and they ended up with Defoe and no money from us.
Buzz Lightyear
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01/02/2008 06:55:00

The other thing that worried me was the fact that Pompey were willing to let Benjani go, now 'Arry is not stupid and I think we got out of this one not by good judgement but by incompetence which is nothing unusual for us.
Buzz Lightyear
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01/02/2008 06:59:00

Why is not Caicedo available for Saturdays game anyone? I wish we had got another midfielder. Perhaps we will get Akram if the Home Office change their minds re the work permit.
Buzz Lightyear
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01/02/2008 07:03:00

Just read in MUEN that Caicedo is not in the country and will not play Saturday, so how can we get a player signed and through a medical when he is not even in the UK and not do the same thing to someone who is.
Buzz Lightyear
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01/02/2008 07:12:00

Cant believe what happened with the Benjani deal... rumours done here in Pompey are that he didn't wanna join and therefore got lost on the way to Eastlands (nothing against Citeh, but only last week he said he wanted to stay at Pompey until 2010 and then return to Africa) .. Umm something went wrong and not entirely sure it was Man Citys fault... we've now go Baros & Defoe & Benjani... and an overdraft of £9m...
Report Abuse
01/02/2008 07:15:00

thanks very much buzz lightyear - i ma very much relevied. i agree with chix, the rumours are that he delibratly got lost on his way to man city, and that wouldnt surprise me. Good luck for the rest of the season, hope you can crack champions league, or uefa cup - just so long as we do too :P
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01/02/2008 07:21:00

You can't believe just how delighted we are to hold on to Benji.....he's a big big favourite down here and we'd have been very gutted to see him go (even with Defoe coming in). To end up with both of them is fantastic....although Mr Gaydamak is sure to want to recoup some money in the summer.
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01/02/2008 08:11:00

Can't decide whether this is typical city or a crafty move on city's part to screw Pompey over the quoted price. What started at £5 million rose to £9 million which is far too excessive for a 30 year old with half a good season behind him. Granted Pompey fans are happy, and who can blame them, but maybe City have had a lucky escape missing out on a player who will not command such a fee come summer and may struggle to get a game now Portsmouth have signed Defoe and Baros. It seems to me most City supporters are more concerned at what may have been a ***** up rather than missing out on the player himself.
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01/02/2008 09:06:00

All along this transfer window Sven has stated he will not be held to ransom for players and with his policy of siging YOUNG players it would seem pretty obvious he was not going to b held to ransom for an OLD player which I think this is simply the case in this instance. I think 'arry has been left with egg on his face after saying that the Defoe deal wouldn't happen if we didn't take Benjani.
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01/02/2008 09:19:00

No egg on our face.
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01/02/2008 09:31:00

It has just been announce that the FA is examining the City paperwork over the proposed move of Benjani...Is this coincidence as the same thing happened when Benjani went from Auxerre to Portsmouth an FA enquiry followed and who is the agent THE ONE AND ONLY WILLIE (WONKER) McKAY. It does seem strange that it was reported yesterday AFTERNOON that Benjani was at CARRINGTON having his medical and then it was reported that City were waiting to see if Pompey could persuade Defoe to join them. Everything was then turned on it's head when it was announced that City were awaitin the arrival of Benjani at EASTLANDS for his medical. I am sure there is a book that could be written about the transfers of Benjani....ARE WE WELL OUT OF IT ...
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01/02/2008 09:50:00

Uh Oh ...The Benjanigate saga keeps going THE DEAL MIGHT STILL BE ON !!!
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01/02/2008 10:06:00

I think Portsmouth's now in an embarrassing position, they want money to cover the new transports, And another thing: Guys can we contracted with him Such as have contracted with Mpenza last season in March ?!
city 81
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01/02/2008 10:29:00

city 81 We only got Mpenza in March because he was out of contract and as a free agent he could be signed outside of the transfer window. I'm afraid the same doesn't apply to Benjani.
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01/02/2008 11:06:00

alphieblues, Thank you for clarifying the difference.
city 81
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01/02/2008 11:37:00

well wot a transfer deadline day i think u ave benjiani myself but onli time will tell
Report Abuse
01/02/2008 11:51:00

Rumour is that he missed two planes, rumour is that'Arry is appy to ang onto this geezer. I have to apologise to City I thought it was there fault this had not gone through and it looks like it wasn't after all.
Buzz Lightyear
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01/02/2008 13:05:00

Funny one this but I think you may well get him after all. The people at: seem to think so. Good luck hope it goes well.
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01/02/2008 13:06:00

Spurjon, would rather have had Defoe than Benjani. Apparently according to the we have registered for the intertoto cup.
Buzz Lightyear
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01/02/2008 13:10:00

That's the weirdest night shift I've worked in a while watching this mystery unfold! MUEN comments board has gone into overdrive. It's a conspiracy theorists dream! Views range from: Did he miss two flights to stay at Pompey or was that just a cock up? Did City get cold feet over the player, the scenario or the fee? Was 'arry working a ready up to keep Benjani and Defoe against his boards wishes? What's Benjani's notorious agents roll in all of this? As for the facts, we now know that the Premier League are reviewing the paperwork and publicly, Pompey are clearly trying to push the deal through. City meanwhile remain silent following that late arrival statement in the early hours. The truth is out there!
Johnny Baguette
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01/02/2008 13:20:00

it seems pompey want the deal to go though, suggesting we have really got a lack of funds! I honestly cant beleive nthis, as we are looking at a great strike partnership in defoe and bnji, and now we want benji to leave?!?!? Benjani truly is a legend, turning up 2 and a quater hours late for a medical...genious!!!
Report Abuse
01/02/2008 17:05:00

What happended?
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01/02/2008 17:43:00

I don't think many of us realise Pompey are clearly short of cash, otherwise why would the Chief Exec make all these public efforts to get the deal done? By his bizarre actions the player himself gives the impression he does not want to play for Manchester City although in these days of agents and big money anything is possible!
Johnny Baguette
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01/02/2008 18:07:00

The Pompey chairman has been great to the club but as always it is not an endless pit and you have to balance the books. But they stole Syvain D. If deals does not go through I cannot see us buying him in summer for the same amount or at all, Svennis would go for his first choices.
Buzz Lightyear
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01/02/2008 18:41:00

Strange state of affairs all round and we could go on all week debating what is going on financially at City, too. Be good to get back to the football tomorrow. Hope it's something of a fresh start after a couple of unsettling weeks.
Johnny Baguette
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01/02/2008 20:38:00

The Premier League have sanctioned over 100 transfers yesterday yet it is now going to take them until next week to pass judgement on this one. WHY ???
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01/02/2008 21:16:00

If you believe SKY, then they report that we got cold feet at the last minute. and didn't send all the papers. Were we supposed to have rushed the medical? I think Pompey are pushing this more than we are. I know Sven says he wants to sign him still.
Buzz Lightyear
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01/02/2008 22:58:00

Pompey are pushing becasue we need to blance the books. Benjani does NOT want to play for you (nothing personal) - but he said 2/3 days ago that he wanted to retire at pompey. It wouldnt surprise me if in the medical, or at some point in benjani being there, he let that slip, and man city realised they wernt getting the player they thought they were, and it would surprise me more if it truly was accidental benji turning up late for his medical, than if it was deliberate.
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01/02/2008 23:03:00

If ever there was a player who summed up pompey better these past few years, it has been benjani. tireless effort, and finnaly, when he gets a bit of luck, he is threated to be sold on. (in a similer way, pompey haveing doens so well, are now being reported we are up for sale!). Sascha has been a great chairman - up untill now - and has done all the right deals - but selling benjani, or even considering to sell benjani has lowered him way way way down in my opinion.
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01/02/2008 23:05:00

PC, We have had dealings with Benji's agent before. He was bartons agent and there is no love lost between the club and Agent. I just feel that if he was to go. that he was told to delay getting threre so we would rush the medical and not find (allegedly) what we did find. There is some suggestion that he has bad knees, which wont last much longer.
Buzz Lightyear
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02/02/2008 08:28:00

Pc, Buzz, sound analysis. The whole episode is depressing, IMHO. It underlines and serves as a reminder of the way football continues to slip inexorably away from the fans and has seen the end of players being able to stay with a club for as long as they want. What price loyalty you can't exercise? Indeed, as in the case of Anelka, his agents and advisors push him for moves all the time to get their fingers in the pie. Clearly Benjani is adored by Pompeys fans but his club say knackers to that and are pulling out all the stops to get rid for financial reasons. Sven has been diplomatic as ever on this one having been made to travel to London then hang around but you could understand City's hierarchy thinking "what's going on here then?" when the player missed two flights. So that's either a glaring fact that he doesn't want to leave, a plan I find hard to believe that 'arry hatched to keep him, or the agent v City history to blame. Sven said publicly yesterday that he wants the player, but we are looking at the extraordinary situation of neither club's boardroom expressing the same wish. Having witnessed Anelka down tools to leave City a few years ago and SWP's family searching out houses for him in the South East months before he asked to speak to Chelski then the stroppy going on's involving Gallas, Cole, Tevez, Mascherano etc, "Benjanigate" is another nosedive for Engliah Football.
Johnny Baguette
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02/02/2008 09:24:00

JB if you look at they seem to think that we have rushed the paperwork and then discovered a potential problem in the medical. If as they say we have faxed all the paperwork to the FA then the deal is done. If however that some paperwork was not faxed/received at the FA by the deadline then the deal is dead. Paul Jewel seems to think one rule for one and one rule for another but his claim is different.
Buzz Lightyear
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02/02/2008 10:24:00

Johnny B, I couldn't agree more, the game seems to be slipping away from the fans. In many ways the Benjani deal is very similar to the Alan Hutton deal that we pulled off. Hutton didn't want to leave, the Gers fans loved him, but the club forced him out purely for financial reasons. Please don't get me wrong, I'm glad we signed the player, over the moon in fact, but does what the player and fans want mean anything?? I don't think it does.
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02/02/2008 12:29:00

johnny baguette in response to your earlier vist to our where you with a blame thrower, i will visit yours similalrly armed. I would simply like to remind you it is without doubt clear that your club administration screwed up the paperwork, nothing to do with late arrivals, clubs including the sky blues prepare it all in advance but unlike the sky blues they dont send it through unsigned, the investigation issue now is was it deliberate or not, if not perhapse the deal will be permitted, if it was then pompey should seek compensation. TBH its the player i feel sorry for.
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02/02/2008 20:52:00

Johnny, What are we to really make of Harry Redknapp's wheeling and dealing in the Benjani affair? Particularly, now we learn that his plan all along was to take Defoe on loan. We all heard him say on TV that the fee from City for Benjani would pay for Defoe's transfer to Portsmouth. Was he fibbing, or did he just forget? Was he as confused as we are asked to believe that Bejani was in his disappearing act, in which he missed two scheduled flights and arrived too late for his medical. Who in their right mind really believes all this bull-s? Manchester City must not be taken in so easily and insist that we will only take Benjani on loan. In future City must keep well away from Harry. The FA and the Premier League must take a very close look at the situation and circumstances, and if necessary call in the police to investigate. We might then all be able to enjoy again the drama of a breakfast raid on Harry's luxurious Sandbanks pad.
Clear Sky
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04/02/2008 14:19:00


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