Manchester City are hoping to sign one of the big names in world football when the transfer window opens in January, according to reports.
The Independent says the Abu Dhabu United Group are determined to land a “world superstar” by the time the window closes.
Kaka and Lionel Messi lead the list, closely followed by Fernando Torres, Carlos Tevez, Samuel Eto’o and even Cristiano Ronaldo.
City are prepared to pay up to £70m – 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.
A source, supposedly close to the discussions, said: “They are going for a big player. 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.”
Manager Mark Hughes also has a wish-list for less exalted names, which include Roque Santa Cruz, Wayne Bridge, Lassana Diarra and Benfica’s Luisao. Other big-name targets are Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon and Valencia striker David Villa but these are reported to be regarded as potential summer purchases.
City are expected to be the busiest Premier League club during the January window because Abu Dhabi United had only one day, the last day of August, to enter the transfer market following their purchase of the club last summer. They signed Robinho from under the noses of Chelsea and the owners are delighted with the contribution made by the Brazilian.