Manchester City have put four Eastlands players up for sale.
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Emmanuel Adebayor and Roque Santa Cruz, the strikers, Shaun Wright-Phillips, the winger, and Wayne Bridge, the left back, will be made available when the transfer window opens in January, even if selling them could prove troublesome.
It is thought that City would be prepared to take significant hits on the quartet – who cost a combined £63.5 million – or listen to loan offers to remove them from a wage bill that has become the second largest in the Barclays Premier League after Chelsea.
Santa Cruz and Bridge have deals worth £80,000 a week and £92,000 a week respectively that run until June 2013, while Adebayor’s £150,000-a-week contract does not expire until the next summer. (The Times)
Elsewhere in the report, the Times claim that Wright-Phillips is on £65,000 a week, which while far less than Santa Cruz, Bridge, and Adebayor, is still a huge amount annually. Indeed, using the Times’ figures, losing these four players from the Manchester City payroll would save the club a colossal £20,124,000 a year in wages alone.
That doesn’t even take any potential transfer fees into account. Whilst clearly Manchester City’s owners have enough money for that to feel like a drop in the water, for the club to qualify for the new UEFA financial fair play rules it is a significant amount.
In truth, not one of those players has proven a sound investment.
Adebayor clearly has talent, but his Manchester City career looks set to be remembered for a petulant and goading celebration towards Arsenal fans.
Santa Cruz only ever had one outstanding season in an injury-ravaged career – the 2007-2008 campaign at Blackburn Rovers – and as soon as Mark Hughes left the Eastlands hotseat, his days appeared numbered.
Wayne Bridge is a good left back who has spent much of the last decade playing second fiddle to an excellent one – Ashley Cole. He has seemed far too content to just sit on the bench for seasons on end, and one cannot help but feel he could have made more of himself as a footballer.
Shaun Wright Phillips envies Theo Walcott’s football brain. He is capable of hitting a screamer from outside the area after dribbling around three players, but seems to struggle to hit a five yard pass anywhere near a team-mate, and his crossing ability is quite woeful.
Still, each of these four footballers would be a worthy addition for a club at the right level. The trouble for Manchester City is that they’ve passed that level.
Players of the calibre of Carlos Tevez, Mario Balotelli and David Silva are signs of the progress being made at the City Of Manchester Stadium, and casting off some of the dead weight from the squad would significantly improve the chances of continuing that evolution to the next level.
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