City’s transfer window is a real pain…so far!

With the summer window open for another 50 days, it would be presumptuous to say Manchester City’s transfer strategy was intrinsically flawed – but it could certainly do with a kick start.

City’s season opener away to WBA is a mere four weeks away and there’s still no tangible evidence of the ‘high quality’ signings promised by Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak.

Men at the top - Khaldoon Al Mubarak and Manuel Pellegrini - but who's calling the transfer shots? Courtesy@MCFC

Men at the top – Khaldoon Al Mubarak and Manuel Pellegrini – but who’s calling the transfer shots? Courtesy@MCFC

The well respected and much admired Khaldoon, is not a man given to serving up sound bites without substance, so City fans need to chew on their frustrations and retain faith in the club’s hierarchy for a little while longer.

As unpalatable and perplexing as City’s transfer market inertia is at present, the Etihad faithful would be premature to rush to judgement…they can save that until Tuesday, 1st September.

It’s well documented – at least via social media – that a triumvirate of Paul Pogba, Kevin De Bruyne & Raheem Sterling are City’s primary targets.

Have City got PPI? Will Txiki make the Paul Pogba Investment or will the Frenchman slip through City's transfer net?

Have City got PPI? Will Txiki make the Paul Pogba Investment or will the Frenchman slip through City’s transfer net?

Speculation abounds with tip-offs, nods and winks from City watchers, some with genuine connections and access to ‘intel’, while others feed off the panic and desperation of anxious fans by supplying disinformation and fabrications.

It’s akin to a rumour mill where those allegedly ‘ITK – In The Know’ reveal to the world that they ‘…know this bloke who knows this geezer, who’s a friend of a guy who hired this chap to do a job for this gent whose dog goes to the same kennel as this dude who’s the cousin – twice removed – of this woman who reckons she’s the hairdresser to this City player’s wife…and she says City are buying so & so for £45million on Tuesday…’

Time to deliver - Txiki Begiristain needes to bring in the high quality players to ensure immediate and ongoing City success.

Time to deliver – Txiki Begiristain needes to bring in the high quality players to ensure immediate and ongoing City success.

With the discriminatory, dishonest, unethical, unprincipled and unwarranted (you’re beginning to get a sense of injustice here?) shackles of UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations removed from City’s windpipe, Khaldoon and City’s Director of Football, Txiki Begiristain, now have the wherewithal to breathe new life into City’s squad.

The hope is that player investment to the tune of up to £200m in transfer fees, will rejuvenate City, adding quality, energy and desire to a squad that fell short of the mark last season.

With City’s Premier League and Champions League rivals already active with acquisitions of big names and rising stars, the Sky Blues cannot be left wanting this summer, regretting what might have been when September 2nd dawns.

Does City's sitting MP have a say in this summer's player recruitment policy? Courtesy@MCFC

Does City’s sitting MP have a say in this summer’s player recruitment policy? Courtesy@MCFC

One of the big conundrums facing City is a conflict of who’s buying who and for who? Are Khaldoon and Txiki in charge of the transfers? Does manager Manuel Pellegrini have a large, small or any say at all?

There’s even a scenario – as bizarre is it may seem – that a manager of a Champions League rival based in Bavaria, could conceivably have an input, if there’s to be a changing of the Etihad managerial guard in 2016.

Pointing the way - will Pep Guardiola have any influence whatsoever over City's transfer dealings this summer?

Pointing the way – will Pep Guardiola have any influence whatsoever over City’s transfer dealings this summer?

As Pellegrini and Pep Guardiola enter their third and final years of their respective contracts in Manchester and Munich, it doesn’t take Albert Einstein to work out that Pep remains at the top of City’s list to take over next summer.

If the hiring of Guardiola is to be the next stage of City’s meteoric evolution under the ownership of Sheikh Mansour, would the club shell out £200m on players without consulting the man who could inherit them?

A situation of more concern is whether or not City are prepared to splash the cash, to try and regain the Premier League title at the first attempt and progress in the Champions League?

City slickers - Will Khaldoon and CEO Ferran Soriano preside over a £200m transfer spending spree in the next 50 days? Courtesy@MCFC

City slickers – Will Khaldoon and CEO Ferran Soriano preside over a £200m transfer spending spree in the next 50 days? Courtesy@MCFC

Will City’s hierarchy risk 2015/16 being a period of best endeavours but potentially ‘treading water’ while anticipating Guardiola’s arrival?

City fans have always been comforted by the knowledge that Sheikh Mansour’s commitment to M11 3FF is for the long haul and not a flash in the pan.

Under his ownership and Khaldoon’s stewardship, City have enjoyed unparalleled success.

Wolfman - City are still on the trail of Bundesliga Player of the Year Kevin De Bruyne.

Wolfman – City are still on the trail of Bundesliga Player of the Year Kevin De Bruyne.

Naturally, such success has driven supporter numbers and expectations through the roof, well beyond the elevated tier of the extended South Stand and the Etihad’s newly enhanced 55,000 capacity.

The fans cannot be alone in their anticipation of seeing exciting new talent in City colours. With the focus on the likes of Pogba, De Bruyne and Sterling, it shouldn’t be forgotten that City already have truly world class players in Sergio Aguero, David Silva and Yaya Toure.

Silva & Gold - David & Sergio remain loyal to City but how long will that last if top class players aren't recruited? Courtesy@MCFC

Silva & Gold – David & Sergio remain loyal to City but how long will that last if top class players aren’t recruited? Courtesy@MCFC

They have ambitions to win titles, trophies and accolades and they, like the supporters, must see evidence that City are moving forward at a pace to eclipse their rivals.

City waited 44 years to once again be the Champions of England in 2012 with Roberto Mancini at the helm.

Bobby Manc wanted top class reinforcements to defend the title the following season. For whatever reason he didn’t get them and the title was relinquished.

Blast from the past - Roberto Mancini didn't get the players he wanted after winning the title with City in 2012.

Blast from the past – Roberto Mancini didn’t get the players he wanted after winning the title with City in 2012.

This summer City are already having to play catch up on Chelsea and must beware of Arsenal and Manchester United, both of whom have already made excellent signings.

In a world of billionaire owners and multi-millionaire players only a fool would overlook the complexities, idiosyncrasies and sensitivities that accompany any major football transfer.

The seemingly stalling exchanging of sterling for Sterling deal is a prime example of difficult negotiations, brinksmanship and propaganda – an all England Mexican stand-off!

What you see in the anti-City media, isn’t always – if rarely ever – what has gone down behind closed doors.

Flow of Sterling - Raheem will surely move from Liverpool to City in the coming days.

Flow of Sterling – Raheem will surely move from Liverpool to City in the coming days.

Yesterday’s debacle with Fabian Delph can be painted in a variety of colours and mediums – there’s the genuine piece in oils and then there’s the diluted version in water colours.

The Aston Villa skipper’s move up the M6 from Birmingham to Manchester was a ‘nailed on certainty’ at £8m, a decent player who would help City fulfil their home-grown obligations at a very reasonable price.

So what derailed it, why is it portrayed as City being ‘snubbed’ and cited as yet another alleged example of Txiki being unable to close a deal?

After signing a new four year contract at Villa Park and his ‘eloquent’ statement on his loyalty to the Villains earlier in the year, it was a surprise that Delph was so ready to join City.

Fair to say it was an even bigger shock when the England midfielder did a complete U-turn, stating he’d be staying in the Midlands and was proud to captain the club.

No go - Villa skipper Fabian Delph won't be joining Manchester City -for whatever the reason given.

No go – Villa skipper Fabian Delph won’t be joining Manchester City -for whatever the reason given.

Did he consult his dictionary and remind himself of the meaning of ‘loyalty’? Did he ‘bottle’ the move, genuinely taken aback at the fury of the Villa fans he was about to desert?

Did he turn up for the medical? If so, did he pass it? Did City exercise their usual dignified ‘no comment’ policy on transfer speculation, only this time with magnanimity, even if it gave the media ammunition to seek to undermine the club?

Dignified - City seek to conduct their business the right way under the ownership of Shiekh Mansour.

Dignified – City seek to conduct their business the right way under the ownership of Shiekh Mansour.

We can’t be sure of the answer…maybe we should ask the bloke who knows this geezer, who’s a friend of a guy who hired this chap to do a job for this gent whose dog goes to the same kennel as this dude who’s the cousin – twice removed – of this woman who reckons she’s the hairdresser to this City player’s wife…

Patience is a virtue but, when it comes to seeing  top class signings in City’s splendid new strip for 2015/16 the City fans want to see their patience rewarded…NOW!

By David Walker

www.readbutneverred.com @ReadButNeverRed @djwskyblu

22 Comments

  1. July 12, 2015  11:45 am by M korsak Reply

    The best thing I've read in a long time

    • July 12, 2015  12:27 pm by David Walker Reply

      You should read more often ;-) THANKYOU!

  2. July 12, 2015  12:50 pm by Al chap Reply

    We're city really in for Delph, their was nothing on city's website, only the usual pathetic talksport sky paper anti man city stance, city are capable of winning trophies without actually buying, if players stay fit and the right formation is implemented.

    • July 13, 2015  6:00 am by David Walker Reply

      Well, you know the woman who reckons she does the hair of this Man City superstar's wife, well she said...

      City were indeed going to buy Delph for £8m but all this talk about 'cold feet' and loyalty to Villa should maybe - according to the girl at the salon - be more focused on potentially, everso slightly 'dodgy knees' and politely being told 'sorry son the deal can't go through' allegedly! Sometimes a much maligned club with stacks of cash are very magnanimous and sit back in silence, whereas others go to the media and big themselves up that their players turn down the opportunity to play in the Champions League and double their salary...supposedly, allegedly ;-)

  3. July 12, 2015  1:32 pm by Richard Cooper Reply

    You have said what I think most City fans are feeling at the present time about the "window" but I had not considered the Pep connection - interesting angle
    There is a danger we can become too aware of the media headlines such as "City's final offer" and "Liverpool reject final bid" etc etc etc. I think the 2 clubs have been negotiating all the time and Sterling will move along the M62.
    The Fabian Delph one was indeed very strange but MCFC did not to my knowledge issue any statement before his about turn.
    The problem for City to my mind is that all the players we need to "go up a level" are already at the top table or are being touted by the top clubs so it cannot be an easy job to tempt them to come to M11.
    In honesty I can't see Pogba coming when he can wait and go to Barca but I would be delighted if we signed De Bruyne - excellent player who can also swing in a decent corner - a rare treat for us if he came !
    What I don't want to see is any panic buying but but good young players who can "fit in" to a team and not just "big" names for the sake of.......
    Am sure ManU fans will say "City can't attract players but we can" blah blah blah. The last thing City need is a 30 year old Schweinsteiger or a 30 year old Ramos. Excellent players they may be but we don't want just a short term "fix" to win trophies but a progressive policy of attracting the best (if not the biggest names) for the next 5 years.
    If we sell Jovetic and Dzeko surely we need a further "striker" as sometime Sergio will get injured but apart from the well known candidates Higuain etc etc goal scorers of the top quality are a rare commodity

    • July 13, 2015  6:27 am by David Walker Reply

      The Sterling Acquisition - does that sound like the title of an espionage thriller and the Jason Bourne character should be involved - looks like the first of a handful of top quality deals that will reinvigorate City and have us challenging for honours in 2015/16.

      In respect of Pep, I wouldn't be so bold to say he is actually saying to City ' I want him, him and him...' but City will be mindful of buying players capable of playing the style of football that Guardiola, and in fairness Soriano and Begiristain helped institute at the Nou Camp when they were all together at Barcelona.

      The Balkan Boys should be on their way to Italy shortly, but I must confess, I wouldn't have a clue as to a possible striker target. I'd be surprised if it were Higuain as that dickhead President of Napoli is demanding silly money, just as he did with Cavani. Time will tell. Thanks again RC.

  4. July 12, 2015  3:26 pm by Dave Leyland Reply

    Spot on Dave as usual. I've witnessed many a social media meltdown already even before the window opened on the 1st. Journalists alike (ex journalists excluded), winding up the frenzy of fans to an anti climactic drop eg. Manchester Evening News last week (10.30pm exciting transfer news to come NOT). Is this the time when San Fairyann and Cheeky Burgerstain come to the fore and actually earn their crust? Who knows lets wait and see.
    Cheers

    • July 13, 2015  6:08 am by David Walker Reply

      Yes, I saw the MEN MCFC transfer news social media update at 22.30 hours - WOW how exciting - BREAKING NEWS...errrrrr, well to tell you the truth lads....there isn't any, but our Facebook click counts just went throught the roof because we needed to massage the figures to impress the online advertising...blah blah blah ;-)

      As for the media hype that the Scousers have received a record £49m - spherical objects! £35m - the same amount they spent on Oh Carroll that well known Geordie world-beater! Oh, but I forgot, 'we' don't report matters in a favourable fashion for Man City, and we certainly don't put things into context that Brenda and Fenway Sports Group are a bunch of chancers to who City refused to cave in.

      My article was simply to ask questions and offer a different perspective. Sterling, Pogba, De Bruyne and Fabinho will provide some very welcome answers in the next couple of weeks. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  5. July 12, 2015  4:37 pm by Paul Glennon Reply

    Brilliant use of words yet again a great read that puts a smile back on my face. We all do like to get caught up in the who, when how much summer entertaining transfer window. Thanks David.

    • July 13, 2015  6:12 am by David Walker Reply

      In all fairness it was the crimper from the salon who tipped me off - ooher missus!

      I just wanted to ask some questions and put some of the preposterous rants and supposition about MCFC transfer activity into context. I believe City will now build on the Sterling deal and go on to land a host of top players in the coming days and weeks. Thanks Paul.

  6. July 12, 2015  9:44 pm by Pete lynch Reply

    Nice one Dave, as I read sterling looks confirmed. Top read!

    • July 13, 2015  6:14 am by David Walker Reply

      Obviously - obviously, it was this RBNR piece that galvanised City into finally getting the Sterling deal over the line ;-)

  7. July 13, 2015  8:39 pm by Doug Henshaw Reply

    Top read Dave as always. Sterling now on board 1st of ???????

    • July 13, 2015  10:23 pm by David Walker Reply

      Bit of a speculative piece before Sterling finally hit the radar. Yes, hopefully City can go on and land another 3 or 4 top quality players, while saying goodbye to 2 or 3 who have served us well. Cheers Doug.

  8. July 14, 2015  8:38 am by Guvnor Reply

    Great read, now go and ask your hairdressers wife who is coming next please Mr Walker.

    • July 14, 2015  2:22 pm by David Walker Reply

      Dont' know how to break this to you Guvnor...but the hairdresser thing...I made it all up. There, I've confessed - I just make it up as I go along ;-)

  9. July 15, 2015  9:08 am by by Reply

    there is one thing I noticed abt all this negativity towards man city
    from the press,fans of d other top clubs and their explayers etc.they
    only want us to feel bad and sad abt our club being brought an Arab.
    forgetting Hw good and wonderful wonderful owner he is. everybody
    is saying we kill every English talents in our club even Richard and
    lescott rodwell. these haters re only happy to see man city destroyed
    publicly then they will feel happy. Hw sad can people be when they re
    only happy when man city is not happy or doing well

    • July 15, 2015  3:59 pm by David Walker Reply

      It's a sad situation but one where hopefully City's actions will speak louder than any of the club's detractor's words. If we continue being successful then our trophies and stature will not be diminished by the bile and venom of the nonsense spewed forth by the likes of Sky Sports News etc. The media is infested by people who support Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, even Spurs, and they cannot stand to see City upset the old style cartel.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

  10. July 18, 2015  10:38 am by Stephen Reply

    Had a sneaky suspicion the Delph deal would resurrest. If you said 57m for him and sterling in march I'd have said great biz so the 8m for Delph offsets crazy money on Sterling a bit. Have to pay it to get them I know but fees are genuinely obscene. Remember the scouse lackies in media had Bony as a waste of money at £25m but Benteke is great biz at £32.5m. Football gets more nuts but still love it

    • July 18, 2015  11:36 pm by David Walker Reply

      MCFC are in my blood BUT football, as whole, is becoming somewhat tiresome. Let's face it, it's riddled with shallow, materialistic people who are totally out of touch with most folks' reality. The players treat the fans like we're all idiots with meaningless drivel and insincere utterances. The media have lost all perception of balance and what constitutes impartial reporting. You have a bunch of complete arsewipes on Sky, BT & Talkshyte spewing bile and venom about City on a daily basis, and it's all becoming extremely wearisome. But apart from that...

      • July 26, 2015  12:18 pm by Toby Teasdale Reply

        I thought 'Arties' in Moss Side was the font of all rumours. I must go in for a tease.

        David I know you love acronyms. Your ennui is down to 'SSS ' Soccer Summer Sickness', your juices have dried up. I know because I'm suffering from it too.

        The Sheikh has told them to 'splash his cash', but Sterling apart, Bergiristain has signed bit players, also-rans, and at least one with a dodgy knee. Raheem makes up for losing Milner (with a bit to spare) and giving away or loaning Dzeko has to be a plus. BUT other than Byram, who may be on the radar, where are the defenders?

        The little runt Woodward knows 'squat' about soccer, but he certainly knows how to use his credit card (although the rags credit may have 'maxed out').

        My second gripe has to do with accumulating air miles. Flying round-the-world for pre-season 'warm ups' In the frozen wastes of Victoria (with half the team injured, on furlough or not yet recruited) has shown us nothing we didn't know already. Twenty hours on a plane (in whichever class) is knackering (yes I know they earn millions). It isn't something the Sheikh would allow his racehorses to do, yet City do it at the drop of a hat'?

        Anyway as I said at the start, WHERE ARE THE DEFENDERS?

        • July 26, 2015  2:18 pm by David Walker Reply

          Indeed! The full back slots are a concern. No problems with Zaba - a refreshed Zaba, hopefully not one with a Copa America hangover like the World Cup 2014 hangover - but Sagna worries me, especially the way he was blaming young inexperienced players for his onw shortcomings against Real Madrid. The real concern is left back - Clichy has seen better days and AK47 isn't really a left back - more a defensive left midfielder. Whether Alex Sandro of Porto is the answer remains to be seen.

          Denayer is a cause for celebration in the making. A return to form for Kompany would be a major positive but Mangala simply has to show himself to be the real deal. Demi will be as reliable as ever, but, as he himself would readily admit, he won't expect to feature anywhere like he did last season, if the younger players are doing their jobs properly. Do we need or want Nicolas Otamendi from Valencia - some say he's too slow and would he impair Denayer's development and progress.

          Like you, I am pleased with Sterling acquisition, not dis-pleased with Delph (bearing in mind homegrown requirements) and Roberts certainly has promise.

          However, we still await the 'crack' signing. De Bruyne's stock has shot through the roof in the Bundesliga and, whereas he will be a very welcome creative addition, he would not have, and still doesn't fit into the 'crack' category. Whether Pogba is a reality or he's simply stalling for Barcelona either in January or next summer remains to be seen.

          Lest we forget - a refocused, dedicated and rampant Yaya would do wonders for City. Team spirit and morale would benefit from the departures of the ever glum Balkan boys and tears would not be shed if Fernando were to leave the Etihad, based on last season.

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