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Man City’s Roll Call of the Quite Good
The names mentioned by the media as City’s current transfer targets represent a lack of imagination reminiscent of the post-title winning days at Blackburn Rovers, when Jack Walker’s millions were spent on players like Lars Bohinen, Billy McKinlay and Garry Flitcroft in a futile bid to build a team capable of challenging for the Champions League.
It might sound harsh to describe Scott Parker, Roque Santa Cruz and the like as mediocre but in international terms that’s exactly what they are. Craig Bellamy and Matthew Upson have also been mentioned to add to the Roll Call of the Quite Good. Who next? Jermaine Pennant? Stewart Downing? Wayne Bridge? What was that? Well, there you go…
If you had, basically, all the money in the world to spend, which players would you go after? Would you set your sights on the likes of Parker, talented but with no real track record of achievement, just because they were easily attainable, or would you set your sights a bit higher?
Man City are the world’s richest club, according to the latest study, and it’s time they started acting like it. You can certainly build a good team with players like Parker and Santa Cruz, given enough time, but surely the sort of budget available to Mark Hughes should buy some instant excitement.
Man City must have an extensive scouting network and access to all sorts of inside information from agents on the players who may be available, but even without that you could come up with a more appetising list of targets:
1. Samuel Eto’o. Barcelona wanted rid of him before the start of the season and a huge salary offer to him might persuade him to move rather than sign a new contract at Camp Nou.
2. Carlos Tevez. Maybe he’ll sign a new deal at Man Utd. Maybe not. City should be waiting with platinum charge card in hand.
3. Iker Casillas. He’s loved by Real Madrid fans and he’s often said how much he wants to stay but could Real turn down an offer of 30 or 40 million quid for a keeper? I doubt it.
4. Franck Ribery. Bayern Munich are nothing if not pragmatic when it comes to money. They have no desire to let him go but what if City were to keep plonking bags of money down on the table until they said yes. How far would they have to go? 70 million? 80? 100?
5. Thierry Henry. He’s having a much better season, and of course he might not want to come to City, but Barcelona could do with the money.
6. Last but certainly not least, David Silva and David Villa at Valencia. Offer 100 million and Valencia simply could not say no.
So there you go, seven players who could bring the real galactico factor to Man City. Sign even just a couple of them and it might end in failure, but it would at least be a great big heroic failure for a great big club, which is a status City aspire to.
Who knows? You might even bring the best out of Robinho.
PHOTO: Manchester City’s new signing Wayne Bridge salutes the crowd ahead of their FA Cup match against Nottingham Forest in Manchester, Jan 3, 2009. REUTERS/Nigel Roddis