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Page last updated at 16:51 GMT, Thursday, 4 September 2008 17:51 UK

Man City boss cools transfer talk

Mark Hughes
Mark Hughes says he is not fazed by the high expectations at City

Manchester City boss Mark Hughes has warned fans not to expect a host of big-name signings in January.

City's prospective new owners, Abu Dhabi United Group, have promised huge investment in new players and talked of signing several world-class players.

But manager Hughes said: "The difficulty will be getting clubs to release those players.

"Maybe it will be more difficult than people realise in January. We'll pursue targets we can realistically get."

City spent in the region of 60m during the summer in signing Robinho, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Jo and also brought in the likes of Tal Ben-Haim, Vincent Kompany and Pablo Zabaleta.

Robinho joined from Real Madrid on transfer deadline day for a British record 32.5m, while the prospective new owners have stated their intention to sign players of the calibre of Liverpool's Fernando Torres, Arsenal's Cesc Fabregas and Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo.

But Hughes added: "There are exceptionally talented players around that we would bring to the club if they were made available.

The expectation levels have increased and people will have to raise their game. That is fantastic

Man City boss Mark Hughes

"We obviously are talking about players whose clubs are involved in the Champions League. Clubs may not be very receptive to losing those players midway through a Champions League season."

Welshman Hughes added that he was not fazed by the added pressure the club's increased wealth and desire for silverware would bring.

"Pressure is always there," he said. "I have been working with pressure as a player and manager for 25 years. If you can't work with it you are in the wrong business.

"The expectation levels have increased and people will have to raise their game. That is fantastic.

Interview: Man City Executive Chairman Garry Cook

"Now we have a really focused group that I am sure will kick on even further.

"The goal has always been to try and compete with the top teams. Maybe the timescale is a bit different but the goals have not changed. We want to compete and try to win trophies if we can."

City executive chairman Garry Cook has made it clear that Hughes will continue to "run the football side of the business" and have control over the club's transfer policy.

Cook told BBC Sport: "Mark's made it quite clear that he runs the football club and we've made it quite clear to anybody that is not inside the football club that he runs the football side of the business.

"He's anticipating nothing changing from that and there's no reason to expect that to change. He's far more knowledgeable about football than most of us."

Meanwhile, Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez reckons that City's huge injection of transfer funds could catapult them into Premier League champions this season.

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Brilltramway
Chelsea have won the title twice since the huge investment by Russian Roman Abramovich.

Benitez said: "You cannot just win the title by spending money but Chelsea won for two years spending big, big money. Afterwards Manchester United won spending lots of money too.

"If we are talking about spending money then maybe Manchester City will win the title this year.

"It is not just a question of money but if you have more money it is easier.

"If we are talking now, maybe they (City) need time but if we talk in January maybe they will buy five players...then you never know."

The Abu Dhabi United Group have already made their intentions clear, claiming they intend to make City "bigger than both Real Madrid and Manchester United".


see also
Robinho makes Man City move gaffe
04 Sep 08 |  Man City
Man City 'will upset Euro elite'
03 Sep 08 |  Man City
Robinho aims for title with City
02 Sep 08 |  Man City
Man City beat Chelsea to Robinho
01 Sep 08 |  Man City
Arabian might at Eastlands
02 Sep 08 |  Man City
Arab group agrees Man City deal
01 Sep 08 |  Man City


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