Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Football: We Will Not Be Held to Ransom; City Boss Adamant Club Won't Overpay

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Football: We Will Not Be Held to Ransom; City Boss Adamant Club Won't Overpay

Article excerpt

MANCHESTER City manager Mark Hughes insists the cash-rich club will not pay over the odds for star players in the transfer window, writes MARTYN ZIEGLER.

City have been linked with some of the top names in the game, including Gianluigi Buffon and Brazilian midfielder Kaka, but Hughes said the club will not pay well above the going rate.

He said: "We're aware of this assumption about the level of finance that we'll throw at the project in January, but we still have realistic market values.

"There is also an assumption that we will stimulate the market, that the money sloshing around will be from the deals that we have started, but we have to make sure we protect the club as well.

"The deals that we do will have to be good ones, but we are quite happy at the moment. We know that there will be a premium that we will probably have to pay because it's January, and teams don't want to lose their better players. But it will not be to the extent where we are paying hugely over the market value."

City have not had the best first half of the season, leading to some speculation about Hughes' position, but he insists he remains positive about the rest of the campaign - if he can make the right signings.

Hughes added: "We have to make sure that the players we want to bring in are good for us in terms of quality and their position in the squad. If we do that I am very positive for the second half of the season.

"It's not an exact science. You have to look at what's out there, what's attainable and the price clubs are asking for.

"There is a budget out there, and we will work within that. The key thing is to make sure the quality we bring in supplements the quality we already have here. I feel that the addition of the right players will give us more consistency in the second half of the season."

Blackburn manager Sam Allardyce yesterday hit out at the Premier League's January transfer window, branding it "destructive"

- but admits he is keen to use it in a bid to bolster his relegationthreatened side. …

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