Rumours have persisted over the weekend and yesterday that Adebayor will be the latest 'big-money' acquisition for Manchester City. It now seems more and more likely that such a deal will be going ahead, and if rumours are to be correct the money changing hands will be in the region of £20 million. If Manchester City do eventually sign Emmanuel Adebayor it will represent and confirm a shift in their potential transfer dealings of late.
Manchester City should confirm their purchase of Carlos Tevez today and along with Adebayor both players demonstrate new ground being broken in the clubs potential market. Obviously the purchases of Robinho, Gareth Barry and Shay Given amongst others have shown a statement of intent and purchase power by the Citizens up to now. They are all good signings, but for the players the move was either a step-up club wise, or a step-up wage wise.
What is different with Tevez and probably Adebayor is how Manchester City have now been able to flex their muscles and tempt players from the top-four clubs. Most significantly these players were not surplus to requirements like Shaun Wright-Phillips at Chelsea, instead 'City are now tempting big players away from life with the Champions League clubs. For the first time it appears that 'City can genuinely claim that they are competing with big clubs when signing the best in the transfer market.
Even so they have still failed miserably in any attempts to sign Kaka, and despite some convincing courting of Samuel Eto'o that deal also fell through. Although the club have made it clear that they 'dumped' Eto'o rather than the other way round! What heights Manchester City's transfer dealings will guide them to next season is still up for debate though. Obviously they have been making great strides to buy their way into the top-four membership, and just a glance at their potential attacking line-up for the coming season is enough to spread concern amongst all rivals.
Be that as it may I am still not swayed that they will break into the Champions League places as soon as 2009/10. I have gone so far as to lay a wager with my fellow correspondent Mr Rome(boy), his belief when the infamous Thaksin Shinawatra takeover went ahead was that the club would finish in the top-four within three seasons. With this being the third season in question soon to start, the wager could be said to be on a knife-edge.
Whilst I concur that Manchester City will inevitably achieve their aim if they carry on with their Abramovich-inspired shopping sprees, I still think that it is too soon for them to do so in the next year. Though it may be a cliché, it will take time for Manchester City to get their squad playing as a team, the failed first era of Galácticos shows that there is more to building a successful team than throwing lots of fantasy football players at it. More importantly I remain to be convinced by the staying power of the manager Mark Hughes.
Obviously there is conjecture in this, but it is widely thought that Hughes could ill afford another season finishing in tenth position in the Premier League. If 'City do not start the season on a flyer then there will be inevitable growing pressure on Hughes, it may not be strictly fair but it will happen and there has to be concern for just how patient the board will be with the former Wales manager.
As for Adebayor, well clearly as an Arsenal fan I should be concerned if the club were to sell him to Manchester City without any decent money then being outlaid on the squad, dare I say even the ongoing defensive midfielder debate. What is important to get across about Adebayor is that even though he may be missed by Arsene Wenger, he will clearly not be missed by the Arsenal fans, myself included.
For those of you who have not seen it, take a look at http://www.oleole.com/blogs/arseblog/posts/exclusive-adebayor039s-michael-owen-style-brochure. The mock brochure appeared on the arseblog and is an attempt by Arsenal fans to sell-off the Togan striker. It may be considered a bit ungrateful by some, but on the whole I have to agree with the funny concept. After all Adebayor has only genuinely had one great season out of his four at Arsenal, and whilst he is a threat and will score goals there has been a growing resentment towards the player.
Some of this has been based on the numerous times that he has missed chances in important matches, and how he seemed to adopt the lackadaisical approach of Dimitar Berbatov for most of last season. More annoying has been his constant about-turns in the press, where every few months he would talk up a potential move to AC Milan or Barcelona only to re-iterate his loyalty to the Gunners soon afterwards.
Quite frankly Arsenal fans are sure that Adebayor can be replaced by someone better, he is not revered amongst the support like Robin van Persie or Fabregas and clearly the mock brochure suggests that the club will be wise to take the money from Manchester City and run. Even a close friend who follows the Citizens has expressed dismay at how his club appear to be on the verge of signing a player that he has spent three years mocking.
That's not to say that Adebayor won't score 'some' goals at Manchester City, of course he will, but is he really worth £20-25 million? Even in the current inflated market I have to say not at all. In all honesty I would have been overjoyed for Wenger to sneak in for Michael Owen to replace an expensive striker, like Ferguson has done at Manchester United for Tevez. It may have been a shock move, but Sir Alex may have pulled off the signing of the summer despite the doubters.
Just as he will be at Manchester United, Michael Owen could have been re-invigorated at Arsenal. Ultimately a player like Owen feeds off of good service, no matter what negative press has been thrown at him during his Newcastle nightmare. At Arsenal he would have been given ample chances to score, and Wenger would have had a player who would score goals once he had a sight of it, rather than passing the ball again. Alas I will have to rue an opportunity lost.
Manchester City meanwhile will do much better with their signing of Carlos Tevez, he is a player of exceptional skill combined with a good work ethic and desire. It will be the Argentinian rather than Adebayor who will push 'City closer to their aims, and when it comes to future transfer policy they will do well to remember that 'you can't always get what you want, but you might just find you get what you need!'