Manchester City’s new ownership sent chairman Garry Cook, brimming with billions, to build a super-club capable of Champions League qualification. The club’s £91m bid for Kaka was a noted fiasco, but, as details have emerged, that’s hardly been their only activity.
City reportedly made an equally irresponsible bid for Spain and Valencia star David Villa, in the range of £100m. The club then cancelled the deal “on principle,” after Valencia countered with £135m.
Gigi Buffon was probably the target of another record bid, although Manchester City again withdrew when Juventus started asking for nearly £100m for Buffon. They will hold firm for £6m for Shay Given, yet be willing to part with ten times that for Buffon?
Man City also tried to raid Barcelona’s bench, offering a combined £49m for Thierry Henry , who may be a possibility next summer, and midfielder Yaya Toure. They had a £10m offer to Arsenal for Yaya’s brother Kolo as well.
The club also have offered £18m for Roque Santa Cruz. They are so eager they’re willing to throw Tal Ben Haim into the deal, which surely has nothing to do with him being Israeli.
This excludes the £40m already spent on players in January, bringing in a competent left-back (Wayne Bridge), a diminutive striker who doesn’t score much (Craig Bellamy) and a midfielder good enough to be rumored but never to be bought by a big club (Nigel de Jong).
Tallying things up, City have put forth a ludicrous amount of money, with ludicrous ambition. So, it seems only fitting they get ludicrous responses.
City have been content scouring the continent for spectacular Brazilians, but, if they want their spending to be effective, sound they consider throwing their money around closer to home?
Manchester City’s transfer budget dwarfs that of England’s big four combined. There are reasons for that.
Manchester United sit on a mountain of debt. They bought their two Serbians and they’re out. Roman Abramovich, after losing a few billion wants Chelsea to run a tight ship, allowing only £12m in January. Liverpool face an uncertain financial future, should the Americans not be able to find a buyer. Even profitable Arsenal must repay their debt. And these are the well off clubs…
If Garry Cook is willing to offer nearly £100m to continental giants, why not test the resolve of the domestic ones?
Would the Liverpool board allow Rafa Benitez to turn his nose at such a mega-offer for Mascherano or Fernando Torres?
If City offered £50m for Adebayor or Van Persie could Arsenal afford not to listen?
With players at Chelsea paying for their own lunches, could they entice one of Chelsea’s stars up north?
Even moving down the table, Villa may be able to reject a great transfer bid. But, could cash-short Everton reject a gobsmacking offer for Arteta?
Perhaps, these transfers may be inconceivable for January. But, if the economy begins to effect the boffo Premier League revenues – and that probably should be a when not an if– these speculations may be a crude reality.