Manchester City and Robinho have shown world football: money talks. With the Citizens now under the leadership of Abu Dhabi United Group, they are embarking on a quest to become the world’s greatest club. And that means buy tempting global superstars to Eastlands.
In reaction to this, Real Madrid are stepping up their “contracts for life”, usually reserved for living legends, that have been given to Raul and Iker Casillas. Real are looking at tying all their stars down to long-term contracts, or to at least add massive buy-out clauses that are mandatory in Spain.
Defender Sergio Ramos is set to be the first of a young squad to be offered a 10-year contract in order to fend off January raids from Manchester. The 22-year-old is set to be offered a deal thought to run until 2018 at the Santiago Bernabau, until he is 32, effectively ending his career with Los Blancos.
The deals are similar to the 8-year contract that was signed by Arsenal’s Cesc Fabregas, when he was just 19, tying him to the Gunners until 2014.
Real are reportedly considering offers to their core players, including Wesley Sneijder, Arjen Robben, Rafael van der Vaart, Pepe, Gonzalo Higuain, Fernando Gago, Marcelo, Javi Garcia, Miguel Torres and Ruben De la Red. Ezequiel Garay, who signed this summer and has not even played yet (remaining at Racing Santander on loan this season), is due to be offered a long-term contract.
More experienced squad members Guti and Ruud van Nistelrooy signed deals, taking them well into their 30’s this past year. Real want to put an end to any chance of a repeat of the Robinho debacle, where the Brazillian manouvered his way to the Premiership, although not to Chelsea, by refusing to sign a new contract and repeatedly saying he was unhappy.
Will other clubs follow suit to prevent players being lured by the big bucks being offered by ADUG? Will Liverpool tie Torres down until 2020? Will Barca secure Messi until he is 35?
It seems that Manchester City’s takeover will affect more than just the Premiership title race. It’s changing the face of world football.