NWR: Deep pockets. How deep? Very deep pockets.
Who are Chelsea? Who are Manchester United?
Life as a Man City fan is never boring, but over the last week it has got a whole lot more interesting. We're having to pinch ourselves to convince ourselves that this isn't just a dream.
First of all, City re-sign Shaun Wright-Phillips from Chelsea, and win 3-0 against Sunderland away with SWP scoring twice. Then there's a big money take-over by Abu Dhabi's royal family (see here) on transfer deadline day. A spokesperson for the group confirms that they have very, very deep pockets. Then there are rumours that City are bidding with Manchester United for Spurs' Dmitar Berbatov, at around £34 million. That would really upset UTD, and at the very least should put the price up substantially, even if he does end up joining City's rivals. Sweet. [Breaking news - he's signed for UTD for £30.5 m, when a day ago UTD weren't willing to pay £25 m - and they've got a proven temperamental player on their hands to boot. Good luck.]
Then comes the news that City have signed prime Chelsea target Robinho. He's a 24 year old Brazilian striker from leading club Real Madrid, and 24 hours' earlier would have been well out of City's range as one of the world's leading players. Outbidding Chelsea is super-sweet, especially when City aren't paying any more money than Chelsea would have - it's just that Real were so upset with Chelsea they'd rather sell to City, given the choice. There's a nice Youtube video of Robinho here, although I should add that these Youtube compilations tend to make anyone look great - even I look like Pele when you collate all my good moments (c. 50 seconds) and omit all my bad (c. 2 years).
His first game will be against...Chelsea.
As you'll see from the picture, even some of the news agencies are so shocked by this news they've assumed that the wrong Manchester team are involved (above). Also, I don't know much about AFP, but when they say '3 hours ago', I'm unsure as to their source of information - the story broke about 7 minutes prior to me taking this screen grab from the web.