LONDON: Manchester City, having put themselves straight with UEFA over financial fair play regulations, are ready to launch on a new round of heavy spending.
City, runners-up to Chelsea this past Premier season, have viewed with concern the progess made by Arsenal and Manchester United in a campaign which saw them slip back from their title-winning form and style of 2013-14.
While City wait on further developments over Liverpool’s unsettled Raheem Sterling, they are also hopeful of signing Juventus’ France midfielder Paul Pogba for what would be a British transfer record £71m. Barcelona were also interested but are trapped by a FIFA transfer ban and presidential elections.
City are now the only club who are willing to meet Juventus’ £71m asking price as well as the player’s £240,000-a-week wage demands. They will press ahead with securing Pogba’s services so that he can join Manuel Pellegrini’s men for their imminent two-week tour of Australia.
Pogba has previous experience in Manchester after being signed as a teenager by United. But he and then manager Sir Alex Ferguson failed to agree on his rate of progress, hence his departure to Serie A in 2012. He had made only three league appearances for United and was frustrated at being held back.
United would receive £1.25m should Pogba join City because of his three formative years at Old Trafford.
City have also been linked with bids for Wolfsburg playmaker Kevin de Bruyne and Aston Villa’s England midfielder Fabian Delph. They could raise cash with the £15m sale of Stefan Jovetic to Liverpool and Eden Dzeko to Roma.