Manchester City and its manager Mark Hughes have a long shopping list of players ready for the upcoming January transfer window, but Hughes has said that just because the club is rich does not mean he will pay over the odds.
"Still," writes James Ducker, "it is difficult to see the Sheikh [owner Sheikh Mansour] letting Roque Santa Cruz, the Blackburn Rovers striker, or any of Hughes's other targets slip through the net for the sake of a few million pounds that probably equate to a few days' interest on his savings."
Despite Hughes' assertion that Mansour and chairman Khaldoon al-Mubarak "are very astute businessmen [who]... know the value of a good deal," City will likely have to pay around $30 million for Santa Cruz, and will also face competition from Tottenham Hotspur to buy Portsmouth midfielder Lassana Diarra. Another target, Chelsea and England left back Wayne Bridge, won't come cheap either.
"Player acquisition is not an exact science, but we have a list of targets," said Hughes. "We have done our homework and we hope everything will go through."