Welcome to Manchester, Owen.
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has revealed that Owen Hargreaves was far from his first choice defensive midfielder purchase of the summer.
In fact, he was only even signed because he was out of contract – with AS Roma midfielders Daniele de Rossi and Fernando Gago (on loan from Real Madrid) amongst his preferred options.
“[Gago] is a player who we liked a lot,” revealed Mancini.
“We couldn’t spend any more money also for the question of Financial Fair Play.
“De Rossi is one of the best midfielders in the world. But I don’t believe that he will ever leave Roma.
“So in midfield we signed Hargreaves who was out of contract.”
Man City assistant manager David Platt was hardly any more effusive, calling Hargreaves’ signing a “calculated risk,” due to his injury plagued recent history.
“We needed a central midfield player but unfortunately in terms of players going out and bringing in transfer fees, a lot have gone out on loan, so fees haven’t come in for them,” said Platt.
“You have to get creative.”