Manchester City Holding All the Aces for a Summer Transfer Splurge

True BlueCorrespondent IFebruary 1, 2011

Welcome to Manchester part 2?
Welcome to Manchester part 2?Chris McGrath/Getty Images

There were not that many net spenders in the January transfer window with Chelsea at the top of the pile.

They spent big to acquire two fantastic players in Fernando Torres and Luiz Suarez, irrespective of the impact on their balance sheet in terms of FFPR.

Liverpool has made headlines but has just slipped into the red in January, with a net outlay of less than five million pounds. Helped by the receipt of £50 million from Roman Abramovich, of course. 

But Liverpool's spending is far more of a gamble with two players coming in with reputations for crazy behavior on and off the pitch.

Carroll's lack of time in the top league is a concern, as is his off-field behavior, but the Suarez deal could come back and bite Liverpool where it hurts. Suarez has an edge to him that, with the physicality of the Premier League, may mean he reacts far too much and spends more time in the stands than on the pitch.

Aston Villa bought goals when they snatched Bent from Sunderland, but little else has been improved.

Then there was Manchester City, the club that is well known for 'ruining football' (Copyright Daily Mail 2009/10/11), who had a very quiet window.

But they were still the second-highest net spenders after Chelsea, and also managed to unload unwanted players Adebayor, Bridge and Santa Cruz, saving millions in wages.

Interestingly, they didn't panic when the news of Adam Johnsons' injury was made public. After all, they would have known about it a few days previous and decided there was no need for a replacement.

City fans are now more likely to see some youngsters bloodied in the cup competitions, with the soon to be fit Michael Johnson akin to a new £20 million signing in midfield if he picks up where he left off 18 months ago.

Guidetti, a promising but unproven striker, is likely to be asked to step up to the plate as well.

But the real news is the money that City has not spent.

Why spend on good players in January when the real prize of great players is only months away, after Champions League qualification is achieved?

It is doubtful that Chelsea will spend again in the summer. Their squad won't need it; Manchester United and Arsenal are either unwilling or unable to spend. Liverpool is no longer the destination of choice for champions, and if the current form continues then Tottenham is more likely to be selling than buying in the summer.

So City may well hold all the cards in summer; money to spend, squad places to fill, Champions League qualification and, perhaps, a trophy in the cabinet as well?

The owners are the best in world football and the manager, Roberto Mancini, is now being seen as this generation's Alex Ferguson. He has taken a club that has underperformed and developed a winning mentality, much as Ferguson had to in his first few seasons at United.

All seems set for City to make the moves that matter in summer and put all other teams in the shade.

I would expect to see three of four big names arrive at City before the start of next season.

And one of them is surely going to be Aguero.