‘They are a small club with a small mentality’
That maybe how Sir Alex Ferguson feels about Manchester City, but he may just eat his words come next May, as Manchester City captures Kolo Toure as their sixth signing of the close season for a believed fee of £15million. The Ivorian defender has signed a four year contract at Eastlands, earning £100,000 a week.
Toure will become City’s first defensive signing of the summer, having already spent close to £70milion on their strike force. If the believed transfer fee of £15million is right, it will take Mark Hughes total spending to £94million, and with the club lining up another bid for Everton defender Joleon Lescott they look set to break the £100million barrier in the coming days, as he puts together piece by piece one of the most expensive jigsaws in Premier League history
Money won’t buy you the Premier League title, but at the moment Manchester City seem to be intent on doing that. Then again if throw enough money at a problem it might eventually go away, or in City’s case come closer to them. Having finished 10th last season City have a lot to prove, but with the Abu Dhabi owners flexing their financial muscles the club show they are deadly serious about breaking into the Top 4.
The club is now believed to be the wealthiest football club in the world, after it was taken over by the aforementioned Abu Dhabi United group in September 2008. At the moment they are the British equivalent of Real Madrid’s Galacticos, or the Shiekhy revolution if you will.
Toure becomes the second Arsenal player to move to City, following the £25million departure of Emmanuel Adebayor, seeing the Gunners cashing in a cool £39million in transfer fees. All these departures at Arsenal could prove to be fatal, and could see them struggle to maintain their Top 4 status with City, Aston Villa, Tottenham, and Everton hot on their heels.
As well as bringing Toure and Adebayor to the club, Hughes has signed Carlos Tevez from rivals Manchester United, Gareth Barry and Stuart Taylor from Aston Villa, and Roque Santa Cruz from Blackburn. City certainly have plenty of attacking options, with no less than nine strikers in the squad, but this could become less if Craig Bellamy gets frustrated and decides to practice his golf swing.
This newfound wealth at Manchester City has even managed to unsettle John Terry at Chelsea, with Hughes putting in an unsuccessful bid for the England defender. It did however take almost a month for Terry to commit his future to Chelsea that was after phone call from owner Roman Abramovich persuaded him to stay, along with the arrival of Carlo Ancelotti. The honourable clubman has claimed this week that ‘Me leaving Chelsea was never a possibility’.
What is the reasoning for these players joining Manchester City? Is it money, or is it ambition? Well it’s certainly one of the two; Toure and Adebayor have left behind European football at Arsenal to as Adebayor put it ‘make history’ at City.
It’s been 34 years since The Citizens last won any silverwear, which was the League Cup in 1974 a time where the club was at its most successful. For now the spending spree looks set to continue, as Hughes has been told by the clubs mega rich owners to carry on spending until he’s happy with the squad.
With the new season just weeks away Hughes and his team will look to turn on the style, and hopefully put the sex back into City, as we look forward to the unveiling of City’s Sheikhy revolution on August 15th against Blackburn it looks like they might just be the real deal.