Wednesday 14 January ~
You might be forgiven for thinking the world has gone mad when a footballer can secure wages of £500,000 per week in these worsening economic times. While other clubs are tightening their belts in a bid to survive the economic downturn, it seems that Manchester City are immune from any impending doom. World domination is the sole priority for Sheikh Mansour, as he seeks to overhaul the football hierarchy with the signing of Kaka, another Brazilian who is without doubt the pick of the bunch.
Such an audacious move certainly casts a shadow over the distinction between manager and club at the City of Manchester stadium. One finds it hard to imagine Mark Hughes nonchalantly walking into the boardroom to demand that the services of a player of Kaka’s calibre and reputation are secured. The Brazilian has displayed a T-shirt on matchdays indicating that he “belongs to Jesus”, but if City have indeed offered as much as is being reported, then he might find himself belonging to someone else before long. AC Milan’s owner Silvio Berlusconi did little to dispel the rumours that his most prized asset might be on the move. In response to news of the bid, the media mogul, Italian prime minister and owner of the club told reporters: “I do hope that Kaka is not for sale and that he stays.” It is a statement that will have buoyed City’s supporters, while dispelling the fragile myth that despite City’s wealth some players are untouchable at the present time.
Elsewhere, West Ham and Blackburn are now digging their heels in over their valuations of Craig Bellamy and Roque Santa Cruz respectively, and who can blame them? Why settle for five million when you can have ten, or 20 million when you could have 40? You almost feel like these are Hughes’s type of player, players he will fell comfortable working with, but are they world-beaters? Both are worthy of their places in a Premier League side, but if Bellamy was on his way to the other side of Manchester, you would have hard job finding anyone who thought he warranted a place in the starting 11 ahead of Wayne Rooney.
Whether Kaka decides to join the revolution or not, Hughes now faces the unenviable task or proving that he has the mettle to transform City over the coming months. As he awaits news on his transfer targets, and those of the club, he must be realising that it's not as easy as it looks. Jose Mourinho has a lot to answer for – he made it look so simple. Tom Glenn