Manchester City Plan £33m Swap Deal: Hughes Wants Puyol or Abidal

Mark Hughes looks to balance attack heavy squad by bringing in experienced defenders in potential swap deal.

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The Manchester City hierarchy are holding talks in Abu Dhabi this week in a rare face-to-face management meeting as the club hone their ambitious plans on and off the pitch.

Mark Hughes, the City manager, Garry Cook, the chief executive, Brian Marwood, the football administrator, and other senior staff flew to the Gulf state to meet Sheikh Mansour, the club’s billionaire owner, and Khaldoon al-Mubarak, the chairman, for a series of wide-ranging discussions.

They are understood to include talks about the club’s expanding commercial operations both domestically and abroad as well as tentative discussions about the January transfer budget and arrangements for City’s friendly against United Arab Emirates at the Zayed Stadium on November 12.

Having committed £140 million on new players last summer, City are not expected to do wholesale business again in January, but money will be provided if a world-class talent, or two, that Hughes believes will improve his squad, become available.

Reports in Spain yesterday that City have agreed to sell Robinho to Barcelona for £33 million on a 4½-year deal are thought to be wide of the mark, but while Hughes is in no rush to offload the Brazil forward, he would countenance the player’s sale in January if it paved the way for him to move for Carles Puyol or Éric Abidal, the Barcelona defenders. (Times Online)

This does appear to make a lot of sense. Mark Hughes’ squad is definitely top heavy and whilst he has brought in the likes of Kolo Toure, excellent, and Joleon Lescott, overrated and overpriced, Man City could well do with an injection of class and experience at the back so the idea to seal a deal that would see Robinho leave and the likes of Carles Puyol and/or Eric Abidal coming to Eastlands would go someway to restoring some balance in the side.

Clearly neither Barca man are worthy anywhere near as much as the Brazilian striker and in fact Puyol could be picked up for free in the summer, so the lions share of any deal would be made up in cash going straight into the already overflowing Blues coffers.

Robinho has been a success at Man City, albeit with occasional patches of indifferent displays the former Real Madrid man has still shown enough to edge the new recruits that arrived this summer but it appears the may crave a return to La Liga and its a sale that Hughes can afford to make given the successful start his new additions have made, as well as the resurgence shown by Craig Bellamy.

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