Last time out, Manchester United were making waves in the transfer market but the reality is that other sides can bring in more polished and established additions to possibly ensure that entrance to the top four may remain closed for another season.
Manchester City sign a quality midfield man.
Manchester City are continuing to strengthen from a position of strength. Manuel Pellegrini won two trophies in his maiden season in England and there is no doubt about the talent within his squad. FFP blues may have nibbled at the warm glow of a dramatic title win but Fernando Reges' arrival from FC Porto will help banish any deeper blues. The fee is reported to be £16 million or thereabouts, which is a fair valuation for the services of the 26 year-old midfielder. Like last summer's signing of another midfielder, Fernandinho, this is a man in his prime who is ready to go.
If Manchester City use James Milner in midfield then Yaya Touré, Fernandinho, and Fernando would complete an impressive quartet of options. Javi Garcia did his bit in the title run-in and Rodwell may nonsensically stick around to provide Manchester City with added depth to the detriment of his own career so there are options available with which to steamroll most opponents.
This is the problem for teams trying to break into the top four. The best can choose the best available to strengthen and only throwing silly money or building intelligently while keeping your best players can the land of milk and honey be reached. Even then, one of the members will have to implode or experienced a marked downturn in form for a spot to be taken.
In other news...
Hull are close to following up the signing of Jake Livermore from Tottenham Hotspurs with the addition of decent Premier League campaigner, Robert Snodgrass. The Norwich City winger has passed his medical and assuming everything is to the satisfaction of everyone involved, Snodgrass should be Hull's second signing of the summer. Swansea have pulled of a bit of a coup to sign Lyon's Bafetimbi Gomis on a free transfer to apparently play with as opposed to instead of Wilfried Bony, the man whose thighs resemble actual tree trunks. Not the skinny variety mind you.
Koke's going nowhere after agreeing a new contract with Atlético Madrid while Barcelona have spiced things up in the goalkeeping department by signing Chile's Claudio Bravo. Marc-André ter Stegen has his competition between the sticks as it were and it is not an unwanted Liverpool goalkeeper. Finally, Carlos Vela is staying with Real Sociedad and that's a sensible decision. He gets playing time and is settled producing excellent performances at an age where regular football should be guaranteed after the lack of opportunities in previous years.
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