Since their takeover by the Abu Dhabi Group, Manchester City have been linked with numerous big-name targets, and have undoubtedly become one of the most ambitious clubs in Europe.
Their mega-rich owners have underlined that ambition by attempting to lure some of the biggest names in football.
In the past, Manchester City failed to recruit superstars like Kaká, Fernando Torres, David Villa, John Terry, Gianluigi Buffon, and countless others who rejected the club's overtures.
Still, talents like Carlos Tevez, Gareth Barry, Shay Given, Emmanuel Adebayor, and Wayne Bridge joined the Blue side of Manchester's revolution.
Last Premier League season, "The Citizens" almost reached their goal of qualifying for the Champions League.
City fell just short, as Tottenham Hotspur eclipsed them in the closing weeks of the season.
Manager Roberto Mancini and City's money men were lining up huge transfer targets, but lost a strong portion of their pulling power due to lack of Champions League football.
It seems that their ambition of signing truly world-class talents will have to wait yet another summer.
The club will surely attract some terrific players this transfer window, as they impressively signed the likes of Tevez and Barry without the promise of immediate Champions League football. But they still lack that landmark signing.
It seems that City have become a revolving door in some ways.
For each group of new recruits, the club appears to lose some of their heart in the process.
With the additions of central defenders Joleon Lescott and Kolo Touré, popular leader Richard Dunne was flogged off to Aston Villa.
Dunne was City's heartbeat during their rebirth, after gaining promotion from the old First Division. He outshined his replacements and had a tremendous year with Villa. Dunne was named in the PFA Team of the Season.
City should learn from their mistake in forcing Dunne out, and carefully choose which players they sacrifice, in order to bring in more "glamorous" signings.
Players like Zlatan Ibrahimović, Edin Džeko, David Silva, James Milner, Gonzalo Higuaín, Mikel Arteta, and countless others have been linked to Eastlands during this window.
If you ask most managers around the world, they would desperately like to have some of these names inserted into their starting eleven. But for the Citizens, it comes at a price.
When I say price, I don't mean the enormous millions of pounds that City are set to spend. But rather, a penalty.
It seems likely that homegrown talents such as Stephen Ireland, Micah Richards, and Nedum Onuoha may be shown the door, as well as the inspirational Craig Bellamy, who figured greatly in the club's victories during the season.
Bellamy became a hero to City's supporters for his performances against Manchester United and Chelsea, as well as his strong runs down the wing. He also exhibited a "give your all" mentality.
The Welshman also became an important figure in the dressing room. He helped create a winning spirit amongst the club and seemed to spur on his teammates when the chips were down.
Manchester City look as if they're becoming a club that will lack the continuity for long-term success.
It seems that if the club loses Bellamy's drive and character, pushes out their core of homegrown talent, and continues their poorly thought-out spending sprees, the Citizens will never reach their goals.
City must look to their neighbors, Manchester United, for a blueprint. Their rivals combined a homegrown trio of Beckham, Giggs, and Scholes with the right sort of players in Teddy Sheringham, Dwight Yorke, and Jaap Stam.
The Citizens have the look of a gambler throwing all of his chips on the table, hoping for the big payout.
The club must learn to pace themselves and not just spend money for the sake of spending, and making headlines.
All the pieces are in place for Man City to become a challenger for the Premier League in the future. They have a top-level manager, a group of talented players, and plenty of investment.
Their owners must build on what they already have, rather than continually gutting the squad in the constant search for big names.
Otherwise, City will become a long-running joke to the rest of the Premier League contenders, as Real Madrid have become to Barcelona.
Assembling a team capable for the long-term takes time and patience.
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