Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini says that Edin Dzeko would be a fabulous signing, insisting "all the good teams in Europe want him", but he admits a deal for the striker has not yet been finalised.
• Silva's injury and what it means tactically
Multiple reports are suggesting that the Dzeko transfer has stalled, even though City "have agreed" a transfer fee, with the Wolfsburg striker asking for 180,000 a week and City initially offering 125,000. This has subsequently, again according to reports, been raised to 150,000. Are City mad? Give the man the money.
Hang on, I hear you say... and probably other words less printable. That's a ludicrous amount of money. Of course it is.
First, football does not participate in the real world. It is an entertainment in a similar manner that is film, television or music. The sums that professional footballers earn for playing a game is beyond silly. But beyond silly is where we are and given the vast amounts of money in the game, of which fans paying at the turnstiles is just one small part, the players can reasonably expect to have a significant share.
Second, let's look at this in practical terms. The difference between City's reported first offer and the striker's asking price is 55,000 a week. For argument sake and round numbers let's say that there are 20 weeks left in the season. Multiply those together and even my Hartlepool education comes up with 1.1 million.
So if as a club you are willing to pay the 30 million fee for Dzeko's services and then another 125,000 a week why on earth are you haggling over the price of a promising youngster from the 3rd tier of English football?
Yes of course, it's probably a five year contract and a long term commitment etc. etc. But in the grand scheme of things when everything this season is focused on gaining Champions League football is this not a case of penny wise and pound foolish?
Argue that football salaries are nuts and you'll get little dissent from me. Comment that football needs a salary cap of some kind and in principal I agree. But currently this is the way the game is played and if that is the case City should play their hand to the full. Arsenal lost the Premier League title last year because of lack of guts in the January transfer window; now is not the time for City to get cold feet.
Update Reports now filtering that a deal has been struck. Nothing as of yet officially from City.