As the Premier League season draws to a close, with all of the usual teams in the ascendancy, the transfer merry-go-round is being greased up ready for action.
Of course, this summer is likely to be dominated, not by the trophy-laden clubs of England, Spain, or Italy, but by the new kid on the block—Manchester City.
We have had a taste of what may come in the last two transfer windows, dominated of course by the Kaka debacle.
But that might also have been a false dawn, as things may not go well for the world's richest club.
As a Manchester City fan and a realist, I am aware of the pitfalls of my club being cashed up and ready to spend.
The reported insistence on big name arrivals from the royal owners is likely to have truth at its core, but no-one outside of the royal palaces really knows.
What seems likely now, is that Mark Hughes will be given a full summer and half a season to prove that he is the right man for the job, but herein lies the problem.
Will the world's greatest players want to sign for Hughes with a fair chance of a management change in the not too distant future?
Would they want to sign for Hughes at all?
There is a real chance that if Mark Hughes were manager at Arsenal, Chelsea, or Manchester United, the best players would have a glimmer of doubt about signing for him. So what chance does Mark Hughes have at Manchester City?
The problem at the moment is that every time the press report that City are interested in a player, and the player then turns them down, it is another nail in the coffin of the Manchester City "project."
In the last week alone, Manchester City have apparently been "turned down" by Cannavaro, Raul, Terry, Drogba, Renato, Ronaldinho, and even Beckham.
Each time one player says no, others become more likely to follow suit.
The Robinho signing proved that it can be done when all of the elements are in place.
So, if things continue as they are, a player must be unhappy with his current club, desperate to prove himself no matter what, and be of no interest to any of the big clubs.
Now that's a tough ask but there is one name from the list above that seems to match—Ronaldinho.
He has previously said no to City but now he is ready to commit, apparently.
Will that be the signing that breaches the dam? I don't think so.
What the board at Manchester City need to do is stop the rumours and inaccurate reporting so that the players that are in their plans can feel wanted, even special.
There also has to be a signing made without it being in the public domain for days or weeks beforehand.
City did try that with Kaka and of course we all know what happened there.
I fear the only way the Blues can secure that "magical" first superstar is by offering the money up front, in full, and with the need to complete very quickly.
Then, of course, they will get a sense of the importance of Hughes in the conundrum and I suspect they won't like what they find.
The Manchester City "project" is on a roll but the question is; in which direction?
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