After praising the club’s handling of the Carlos Tevez affair, chairman Khaldoon al-Mubarak could do well to usher in similar ‘landmark’ moves in City’s summer transfer strategy.
The Blues’ dealings with stroppy Argentinean forward Carlos Tevez have enjoyed plenty of air-time in recent months as the striker first agitated for a move, stalled in negotiating one and then eventually decided to stay and play a part in the team’s title success.
However, this week a fresh perspective on the affair was put forward but none-other than current Manchester City chairman Khaldoon al-Mubarak.
Writing in his new book on the team, entitled ‘Richer than God’, Mr al-Mubarak praised the club’s handling of the situation and the moral victory they enjoyed after deciding not to allow Tevez to leave the club, for a reduced fee, back in January.
Manchester City paid around £47 million to secure the goal-getter’s services and adopted a stance of refusing any lower bids for the star, with a soon-collapsing move to Corinthians proving the only bid of note.
"It was a landmark," al-Mubarak wrote in the book. "We cannot allow ourselves, as a club, to be mucked around.
"It was a hell of a gamble for me, not to let him leave for AC Milan in January, because he could have sat out all year, but not played for us and lost his value.
"But I was firm that we are not rich people to be taken advantage of, to give him what he wants and let the market screw us."
The landmark actions certainly proved to be a worthwhile move, with Tevez’s attempts at agitating for a transfer falling on deaf ears. Months on from the saga, he appears settled once again and ready to contribute to City moving forward.
With this situation resolved, the club could be advised at taking other major steps in the transfer market – here are five initial suggestions:
1. End the loan saga – Having an expensively-assembled squad is one thing, but to then take players and send them out on loan to our rivals makes little sense – particularly when Manchester City continues to pay their wages.
Emmanuel Adebayor was the classic example. Sent out to Spurs, the striker grabbed 17 goals in 33 games and though he was ineligible to play against City, his performances provided a major boost to a rival team’s league campaign. Avoid loans like this and if necessary, agree deals with teams outside of the Premier League.
2. Give youth a chance – Manchester City boasts one of the best youth academies in the region, yet for all the bluster about our kids, many players are failing to get a look in for first team games.
Take a leaf out of Arsenal’s page and use the League cup to blood more of these stars in.
Last season’s fun to the semi-finals of the competition may have been based on the use of fringe stars, but with some of these players having no future at the club, would it perhaps be wiser to opt for youth?
3. Develop our scouting network – Manchester City has a unique level of wealth at its disposal which has proven to be a blessing and a curse.
While no player is out of the reach of the club, financially, in many instances clubs have opted to overcharge City for their players, resulting in inflated transfer fees for popular stars like Roque Santa Cruz and Joleon Lescott.
Invest in an advanced scouting system, with connections in South America and Manchester City could tap into the kind of market of players currently being sold on to many of the big teams in Europe by Porto and Benfica of Portugal.
4. Give Mancini everything he wants- In recent weeks the Italian’s position at the club has looked far from cemented with transfer policy remaining a divisive point between boss and board.
The message from City fans is simple – Give Mancini the control over transfer targets that he wants and do everything we can to land these players. The Italian came to the club because of the opportunity it offered him to finally shape his vision of the perfect football team. Let him do that.
5. Stop talking about other team’s players – Keeping tabs on a player or making an approach for a star can be one thing, but the practice of speaking to the press on the subject of another team’s striker or defender for instance, must come to an end.
Robin Van Persie has been a classic example, with manager and City players alike rushing to tell the Dutchman to head to the Eastlands. Manchester City are in a position now where such tactics are not only unnecessary but tarnish the name of the club.
With fantastic fans, a great stadium and a solid commercial base in Manchester, the club should have little trouble of attracting big-name stars from here on out.
Showing respect for other clubs and
their players could also prove wise in the event of any future dealings too.
What other ‘landmark’ strategies could Manchester City employ?