Man City are burdened with the excesses of their rapid rise

In a short space of time, we have become accustomed to Manchester City blowing their rivals out of the water when it comes to transfer market prowess. According to the financial reports posted between 2008 and 2011, the period of time encompassing Sheik Mansour’s reign, the club has spent £930.4m, with £565.1m from his own pocket. £266m has been made available for transfer dealings, after sales, with a further £53.6m spent last summer.

Wages have cost the club £390m during this period, £24.7m more than their income, at the peak of their spending during the 2009-10 season, the outlay was £3.04 for every £1 they were earning. With staggering sums of money already invested, a £195m loss in the last financial year and the introduction of Financial Fair Play appears to have brought their spending to a standstill.

There have been no new arrivals thus far this summer, as the club struggles to offload a number of high earners that have either failed to make the grade or have proven to be a disruptive influence. During the January transfer window, Roberto Mancini revealed the need to sell before they can consider potential new recruits. “We need to sell two or three players and then we’ll see,” Mancini told the Guardian.

We want to sell first and after that we may have time to buy someone if it’s possible. But it’s not easy. There are players that could be good for us but every time we want to buy a player their clubs ask for lots of money.

City are believed to be in the market for a centre-back and a striker, but their inability to part company with Kolo Toure, Carlos Tevez, Edin Dzeko, Roque Santa Cruz and Emmanuel Adebayor has prevented them from pursuing their targets. Hoping to capitalise on uncertainty regarding Martin Skrtel’s Liverpool future, City are willing to accept a fraction of the £16m they paid for Toure in 2009, but there has proven to be a shortage of takers thus far.

Despite the high-profile departure of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Milan have yet to follow up their interest in recruiting either Tevez or Dzeko as his replacement. Adebayor’s protracted £6m move to Spurs also appears no closer to completion, as his wage demands remain a major obstacle.

As one of three clubs vying for Arsenal contract rebel Robin van Persie, City are believed to be losing ground on both Manchester United and Juventus, a scenario to which they are not accustomed. Mancini may be keen for the club to strike a deal but chief football administrator Brian Marwood remains determined to cut costs before further transfer activity is sanctioned. With van Persie’s decision expected to be fuelled as much by ambition and heritage as financial gain, City have their work cut out, making the need to act quickly and decisively more pronounced.

Despite a largely fruitless summer, City remain a formidable prospect and have at least been successful in warding off Russian interest in Mancini. The signing of a new five-year, £37.5m contract has made him comfortably the highest-paid manager in the country. Prices of targets may remain high, while interest in the players they no longer require remains low, but that is the collateral damage of such a swift ascent to the Premier League summit. Staying there will require accepting a more sensible, sustainable approach.

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