Without any doubt, Manchester City has been the busiest EPL club in terms of transfers during the off-season. After a year of disappointment, they have adopted a different approach to the market this summer. Last year, they made their first deal to secure Everton youngster Jack Rodwell just one week before the Community Shield against Chelsea. Several players, such as Javi García, Matija Nastasić and Scott Sinclair, were rushed in before deadline day. This year, their first major transfers were all secured three weeks before the season start. Fernandinho and Jesús Navas were followed by Spaniard Álvaro Negredo and Stevan Jovetić in the pursuit of Premier League glory. City’s summer spree has already reached £80 million.
However, Manchester City has aimed at a different type of player to the superstars they have chased in the past. They refused to get caught in a bidding war for Edinson Cavani, Luis Suárez or Wayne Rooney, shifting their attention instead to players with less recognition but with a good pedigree in European leagues. The benefit of such a move is that they are able to lower salaries significantly. Amongst the four new signings, Fernandinho received the biggest pay package at £100,000 a week. The two former Sevilla players, Navas and Negredo, are both at £75,000 while 23-years old Jovetić’s promising future earns him £80,000 each week. Manager Manuel Pellegrini is still looking for an established central half to replace out-bound Joleon Lescott. But bearing in mind the astonishing £260,000 weekly salary City has previously offered to players such as Carlos Tévez and Yaya Touré, you do the math.
Another club that is busy in the market is Tottenham Hotspur. Just as expected, Franco Baldini, the new Technical Director for Spurs, is capable of bringing the players that Villas-Boas wants. After the deal with Dutch club FC Twente for Belgium winger Nacer Chadli at £7 million, Baldini travelled to Valencia to negotiate for Spanish international Roberto Saldado. With a €30 million buy-out clause in the striker’s contract and Spurs’ apparent willingness to meet the price, the club is very close to landing their target.
In the meantime, Chelsea is still entangled in a war with Manchester United for Wayne Rooney, while Luis Suárez has Arsenal and Liverpool fighting one another. It is reported that David Moyes has been handed a £100 million fund for new players, with Cesc Fàbregas and Gareth Bale on his list.