Manchester City owners are prepared to smash the world transfer record in January for a superstar. The Independent says City's wealthy Arab owners are determined to try to land a "world superstar" in the January transfer window and have drawn up a list of targets, headed by Kaka and Lionel Messi. The other names that have been discussed are Fernando Torres, Carlos Tevez, Cristiano Ronaldo and Samuel Eto'o, with the Abu Dhabi United Group prepared to pay upwards of £70m for a top-name signing to add to their British transfer record purchase of Robinho, for a fee of up to £34m, on the final day of the summer transfer window.
Although it would appear almost impossible to prise any of the players away from their clubs, especially mid-season, City are determined to test the resolve with a world-record fee - beating the £48m that Real Madrid paid Juventus for Zinedine Zidane in 2001 - in the hope that one of the big names will be signed.
It is part of a strategy that City's owners have, after a series of discussions, decided to settle on to make a statement of intent in world football and to help the team to "kick on" in the second half of this season. They believe that if they can sign Kaka or Messi then other big-name players will follow for football, as well as monetary, reasons.
"They are going for a big player," a source, who has been involved in the discussions, said yesterday. "If they really want to be a big club and move to a new level they need to get a big player in and that would mean one of Kaka, Messi, Ronaldo or Tevez, because of his availability. Unless a player like that can be signed then it will be a struggle and the sooner it is done the better, which means trying to do so in January. Then others will follow."