Pretty much identical pieces in both The Guardian and Independent today, stating that prior to our failed bid for Kaka we went after several high profile players, including Thierry Henry, Gigi Buffon, David Villa and David Silva.
The constant theme with all of our interest appears to be the potential selling clubs hiking up the asking price knowing the limitless funds at our disposal.
From The Guardian:
Backed by their billionaire owners in Abu Dhabi, a delegation from Eastlands went to Valencia in December to make it known they wanted to sign Villa and his Spain team-mate David Silva from the La Liga club. City were willing to pay around £100m but pulled out, as a point of principle, when Valencia asked for £135m. "They wanted us to bankroll their club for the next four seasons," said one of the men involved in the deal.
A City delegation also travelled to Turin to open talks with Juvenus for Buffon, the Italy goalkeeper. Juventus wanted a figure close to £100m and, again, City withdrew from the negotiations, suspecting the Italian club were trying to take advantage of what has become known in football circles as "the Manchester City effect".
And The Independent:
The inflated financial demands that Manchester City have faced in their pursuit of players in this transfer window have forced them to walk away from three deals, with hopes of signing the Valencia duo David Villa and David Silva dashed, along with the pursuit of Lassana Diarra, who left Portsmouth for Real Madrid for £20m.
Regardless of whether we decided 'not to be anybody's fool' as Garry Cook put it, as shown with Kaka, I'm not convinced that we are quite able to pull off player recruitment of this calibre at this stage of our progress. Still, I don't think we deserve the criticism or derision that has come our way for these pursuits, and as Mark Hughes said, we should actually be applauded for aiming high.
Elsewhere, Robinho's recent escapade has brought rumours of his departure back to the forefront, with speculation that we could attempt to move for Didier Drogba (and others) in return. This has been dismissed already by Hughes, and I think this is a non-starter and more likely than not a piece of mischief making.
An interesting rumour that was in todays Mail linked Felipe Caicedo. Not a great amount of detail around the story but interesting that it is something we would consider given he moved up in the pecking order with a recent impressive spell in the line-up. Perhaps though, Hughes thinks he may be dispensable given the other options available to him and could get a decent return.