Manchester City’s ‘summer of frivolous cash flow’ is showing no signs of relenting any time soon, with the news that Barcelona’s erstwhile holding man Yaya Toure has completed one of the most protracted transfers in recent memory by finally put pen to paper at Eastlands.
The 27-year-old Ivorian has signed a five-year deal with City today, but only after putting us through months (and boy, do I mean months) of intense speculation and counter-speculation concerning his immediate future – thanks, in no small part, to his scheister of an agent Dimitri Seluk.
In an interview with City’s official website, Toure (who joins his older brother Kolo at the club) spoke of his excitement at being a part of Sheikh Mansour‘s project;
“This is a dream come true, I have always wanted to play for the same club as my brother and I’m so happy that it has finally happened. It’s great for our family, we’re all so happy about it.
Kolo told me it’s an amazing time for the club and a very exciting project. They want to make some big signings, and I needed a big challenge.”
The midfielder also admitted that, whilst he was looking forward to reuniting with his own flesh-and-blood, there were several other footballing factors that attracted him to City;
“I’m very happy to sign for Manchester City. I believe we can do well this season and then play in the Champions League next year.
“I played with some very special players at Barcelona, but now I am coming to City and they have the same kinds of players, like [Carlos] Tevez, [Emmanuel] Adebayor, [Patrick] Vieira and of course my brother!
I hope that with my signing Manchester City can get even better, and I’m sure that we can become a great team.
I love the Premier League and I watch it all the time and City did very well to finish fifth but I hope we can improve on that by qualifying for the Champions League. This is a big club and that has to be our first objective, and then we have to look at winning championships as well.”
Not the bottomless pit of cash then?
A fee is yet to have been disclosed by either Manchester City or Barcelona, but it is believed that as much as £28 million may have changed hands between the two clubs.
If so, the signing of Toure would take City’s total summer spending to somewhere up-and-around the £65 million mark, having already rubber-stamped the acquisitions of Jerome Boateng (£12.5 million) and David Silva (£25 million) from Hamburg and Valencia respectively.
When compared with their close season dealings last season (Roque Santa Cruz, Gareth Barry, Emmanuel Adebayor, Joleon Lescott etc.) there seems to be an undeniable step up in the profile of City’s purchases this time round – despite their failure to secure Champions League football last season.
Toure and Silva, in particularly, could have had their pick of suitors, but instead chose to join the Sky Blue revolution – which can either be seen as a clear indicator of the esteem in which City’s lofty plans are now held within the world of football or merely an exercise in the power of money.
Whereas you can’t argue that they have incrementally added players of increasing quality to their ranks, it remains to be seen as to whether City’s expensive ‘galatico’-style gamble will eventually pay off (though probably not literally!) or be forced to go down in the record books as one of, if not the most expensive follies in football history.
An abundance of top class players does not automatically a great team make – just ask Fabio Capello – although, with the kind of funds available to City, it is a hitch that can be easily addressed on a season-by-season basis.
To paraphrase a great song by a great band; ‘There’s something happening here, and what it is ain’t exactly clear.’
Not yet anyway.