Manchester City’s new owners have assembled an ambitious list of transfer targets for when the transfer window reopens in January.
Dr Sulaiman Al-Fahim, of the Abu Dhabi United Group, revealed that the club are planning an audacious world-record £135m bid for Cristiano Ronaldo before turning their attention to Fernando Torres of Liverpool and Cesc Fábregas of Arsenal.
“Ronaldo has said he wants to play for the biggest club in the world, so we will see in January if he is serious,” said Dr Sulaiman Al-Fahim, of the Abu Dhabi United Group.
Al-Fahim also re-iterated that he would look into the potential availability of the former Arsenal striker Thierry Henry, Valencia’s David Villa and the former Brazil international Ronaldo to join Robinho in a “dream team”.
However, he identified United’s Ronaldo as the biggest challenge.
“Real Madrid were estimating his value at $160m (£90m) but for a player like that, to actually get him, will cost a lot more; I would think $240m (£135m),” he added. “But why not? We are going to be the biggest club in the world, bigger than both Real Madrid and Manchester United.”
“We want a team who can win the Champions League,” he added.
Al-Fahim also confirmed that Torres and Fábregas were among his targets.
“We’re not just going to spend money on anyone, but if we can get the biggest players in the world, and of course if the manager wants them, then we will get them,” he said.
United’s reaction to the news that their local rivals were planning a swoop for Ronaldo, was one of puzzlement, a spokesman saying “we have made it clear all summer that Cristiano is not for sale”.