Sunday, August 10, 2008

Transfer rumours gather pace

After it seemed that the Corluka stories had died down and he would perhaps remain a City player, rumours gathered apace yesterday (Saturday) morning as some newspaper reports suggested that the move to Tottenham would be completed prior to the season starting, and more fuel was added to the fire when it was reported that he did not feature in the team photograph, and was then left out the side for the final pre-season game against Milan.

It does seem inevitable that Corluka is on his way, and it is disappointing news given the impressive season he had last campaign and at 22 years of age, has plenty of upside ahead of him. However, the current financial situation at the club does appear such that at the very least we need to trim the wage bill and by a strange quirk, we have to sell Corluka in order to actually finish paying for him.

Given the quality we have in defence - and this season it appears that Ben Haim is set to partner Dunne in the centre with Richards at right back, Corluka to a degree does become expendable and if we have to sell then better it be a player such as that than an enforced sale such as Richards, Petrov or Elano which would the side far more.

Having said that, it is a sad state that we find ourself in if finances are such that we are being forced into sanctioning a couple of sales to balance the books, and is something that the press are beginning to prick their ears up about as they sniff around for a headline or two.

Another player who could be on his way is Stephen Ireland. Rumours linking him to Sunderland again surfaced this weekend - partly like the Corluka scenario where it is a player who could be expendable but perhaps also because Mark Hughes does not see him fitting into the side, and he was again left out of the side yesterday (with TV later indicating he was initially told to stay away from the game).

Ireland for me is an undoubted talent - despite all his quirks and slightly odd behaviour, and whilst his progress has been somewhat steady, I do believe that given his still young age he has plenty ahead of him and whilst £5 million may well be a decent return, further ahead we could look back on a sale with a great deal of regret.

One player who appears to be staying though (for now at least) is Rolando Bianchi. The club turned down a bid from Torino which would see him move to Turin on loan with a £2 million option at the end of the season. Rumours now link him with a potential move to Genoa as it seems inevitable that he will not be with his this season and I think the only reason a move has not gone through so far is that we are trying to recoup as much of our initial outlay back for him.

An interesting week all in all then as instead of new arrivals coming into the club with season just around the corner, we are having to face the prospect of players heading out of the exit door. Not an ideal start, and with the political and financial problems for our owner ever increasing, it is with a sense of aprehension that we head towards the season with.

vote it up!


Anonymous said...

"Having said that, it is a sad state that we find ourself in if finances are such that we are being forced into sanctioning a couple of sales to balance the books"

It may well be a sad state but it is one that most premiership clubs have found themselves in this Summer. Our net spend is actually one of the highest in the league (though that would change if Corluka and Ireland go).

I am hoping that we are trying to be self-supporting and are selling a couple of players in order to buy players that Hughes wants but outside the rags and Chelsea, pretty much all clubs have to sell to balance the books at some stage.

Anonymous said...

So City have brought-in Tal Ben Haim and because of this are forced to sell Vedrun Corluka to "balance the books"?
Very strange.

Danny Pugsley said...

I'm not disputing the fact that clubs should have to think of the balance sheet when it comes to their playing staff (and for too long most clubs have disregarded this aspect, creating a lot of the problems we see in the Premier League).

What I(and most others I imagine) find troubling is that if we are now selling Corluka (and Ireland if reports are to be believed)why only now has it emerged that we have to balance the books, and if so, why have we added another striker at a cost of £18 million this simmer - with wages to match no doubt, and why on earth did we go after Ronaldinho who would have financially crippled us?

More likely, is it not a case of balancing the books in a responsible manner, but more of a need to bring in some cash quickly to cover previous transfer costs (and maybe wages) because there is simply no more available?

Anonymous said...

"Our net spend is actually one of the highest in the league".

It would be if we had actually paid for the players that we have brought in. Reportedly we were only able to lay down 3-4M of the Jo fee up front with many of last seasons signings also being paid for in installments.

As events unfold it is looking increasingly bleak.