Manchester City are making a mockery of financial fair play.
Just weeks after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) let them off the hook, they’ve launched into a 60 million pound reinforcement of their squad by signing back up players.
Ferran Torres and Nathan Ake are expected to become Manchester City players this summer after the club moved quickly to secure their signatures.
Ake is an interesting arrival because the club have essentially paid out over 300 million pounds on defenders without ever being able to fix the defence. The former Chelsea starlet will now compete with Eric Garcia, John Stones, Aymeric Laporte, Nicolas Otamendi and possibly even Fernandinho for a place in the side.
In a post COVID financial landscape, it’s curious to see City spending big money fairly quickly. Yes, their defence does need to be fixed by they’ve got Laporte back from injury and Garcia flourishing with more minutes - was a 40 million pound player really necessary?
They managed to offload Leroy Sane to Bayern Munich and David Silva has left the club on a free, which will ease some burden on the wage bill. Even so, Manchester City getting close to another 100 million outlay just after their brush with the law seems to make a mockery of the whole process.
It brings into question another issue, too. How much money does Pep Guardiola need to keep throwing at this problem in order to make it stick, and why can’t he improve the players he already has?
Since Guardiola splurged 100 million pounds on full-backs Kyle Walker and Benjamin Mendy, he’s gone back to the transfer market to the tune of around 90 million pounds on full-backs and still can’t get the ones he wants.
Put this in the context of Jurgen Klopp’s achievements at Liverpool, and his claims to be the best coach in the world start to look a little spurious. Klopp built the best defence in the Premier League for the price of three of City’s men.
The deal for Torres is a little more straight forward. His fee is relatively small and the value expected to gain from that is large. He’ll help fill the role vacated by Sane, and maybe even Silva.
City will do what City do though: throw money at the problem until something finally works. They could have timed it a little better, though.