Curious. The Gareth Barry transfer was done in relative secrecy. The news only breaking when Barry was at City having a medical. Contrast this with the public statement from Hughes concerning an interest in Tevez. I wonder if we are sophisticated enough to be gaming Manchester United when it comes to the Argentinean striker.
United have built a great squad, to suggest otherwise would be childish. But financially they are now at a point where the club can only afford one major acquisition each summer or sometimes a couple of very good youngsters. United have one hole at the moment and that is caused whenever they lose Hargreaves. A player to take the place of the English midfielder or back him up should be their priority this summer.
So from a practical sense signing Tevez makes little sense and explains why most reports have indicated that United were trying to knock down the price. Reduce the price, sell a couple of youngsters such as Campbell and Gibson and raise enough cash to also plug the hole. By publicly declaring the club's interest it would seem that we either secure the striker or force United to match the evaluation set prior to the start of the two year loan.
I freely admit I may be reading far too much into this than is there in reality but the difference in approach is, no pun intended, striking...
Back to Barry and as I feared the talk is now turning to Elano leaving the club. It was very noticeable that City's form at the end of the season was much better once Elano started regularly. It reflected poorly on Hughes who had been forced into starting the Brazilian playmaker because of injuries to other players, rather than through any sudden awareness of his selection mistakes earlier in the season. We only have press reports to suggest that Hughes sees Elano as a negative presence within the dressing room, but even then it is said that Elano is upset when he isn't starting. Well, he should be and I don't have any problem with someone being put out because they start for Brazil but get overlooked at City.
Given the addition of Barry and the number of midfield players that City have the club can now afford to lose Elano but I really hope we don't.
There is a lot of debate amongst City fans about whether Hughes should stay or go. I've stated my reasons for why I believe he should stay. Normally the argument against starts with Sven and what he achieved last season and how the club has spent large amounts of money to finish in a lower position with less points. This is an unfair comparison for three reasons. Two were unavoidable and are the injuries to Michael Johnson and Martin Petrov. I truly don't think people realize just how incredibly important Johnson was to the start that City made last year. Throw in a City offense that almost entirely ran through Petrov and it's easy to understand why City struggled in Hughes' first season.
I said three reasons. That third reason is Robinho. A great acquisition but in arriving just before the transfer deadline there was no opportunity for a pre season and Elano was the player who suffered from his compatriot's arrival. A proper pre season would have allowed, I believe, the opportunity for Hughes to figure out how to use the two Brazilians together. Instead Elano sat and the issues started.
If Elano has to go then I hope that the team is forward thinking enough to send him out on loan for the year. Ultimately if Hughes is successful then we will accept the departure of such a talent. But if Hughes gets it wrong, I for one would like to see Elano in a City shirt rather than say a Spurs shirt in the future.