It’s hard to watch several leagues simultaneously, which somewhat tempers the distaste for the phenomenon of sugardaddied Manchester City and makes the team an intriguing entity to behold. No one particularly likes a team of mercenaries, but for watchers of the English Premier League, City’s current and prospective roster is like a one-stop shop of some of the world’s best players.
Sergio Aguero, Mario Balotelli, Edin Dzeko and David Silva were hardly unknown before they arrived in Manchester, but seeing them play week-in and week-out showed EPL spectators just how skilled they truly are. And with the transfer window again upon us, a whole new crew of the best and brightest are being linked with MCFC. At the very least, those following transfer speculation learn about the top talents in other leagues simply by seeing who Manchester City are said to be pursuing.
Fans of Arsenal cringe when a player in Arsene Wenger’s sights gets named, because almost without fail another team with more money and/or better title-winning chances scoops them up. (See Juan Mata, Yaya Toure and many, many more) So it goes with Belgian whizkid Eden Hazard, now apparently on City’s radar. Hazard’s agent recently said, “His future is with one of European football’s prestigious clubs like Real Madrid, Barcelona, Chelsea, Manchester City, AC Milan, Inter or Juventus.” A few year’s ago, name-dropping City in that list would have been ludicrous. Not so, now. Anyhow, Mancini is said to be considering a £25 million bid for the player. Which multimillion-earning midfielder will he replace? No matter, they’ll make it work.
And with whiffs of rumors of £160,000 a week, it seems City may be bringing Roma star Daniele De Rossi to UK shores. Who will he replace in midfield? Hazard, of course. Or Gourcuff, Ozil, Hamsik or Goetze. (The sound you hear is Samir Nasri whimpering, with only his towering stacks of cash to comfort him.)
Despite Jose Mourinho’s comment, “I wouldn’t like any of my men to leave in the winter transfer window,” at least one paper has Manchester City homing in on Real Madrid defender Raul Albiol and preparing £5 million for Real Madrid 15-year-old Jose Angel Pozo. Perhaps the young Madridista does not count as one of Mourinho’s men.
Meanwhile, superstriker Carlos Tevez is also available, if City is willing to meet his £200,000 weekly wages. Oh, right. Scratch that.
Recent results notwithstanding, if anyone could lure the likes of Neymar, Ganso or Soldado to non-Spanish soil, it’s City. They stand poised to start really filling their trophy cabinet and they can outbid nearly anyone. Only Barcelona’s stars, really, are untouchable.
And as for known quantities in the league, will City successfully poach the likes of Gareth Bale, Robin van Persie or Javier Hernandez? Time will tell. Only loyalty would get in the way.