EXCLUSIVE | By Manchester correspondent Alex Stevens
Manchester City will make a second bid for Raheem Sterling as they embark on what promises to be the biggest spending spree in football history, Football Insider sources understand.
The club’s Abu Dhabi owners are ready to sanction a world record splurge of around £220million this summer to provide Manuel Pellegrini with a squad that can regain the Premier League and be more competitive in the Champions League.
As reported by Football Insider, City will make a second Sterling bid next week and they are also in the market for other emerging stars like Juventus’ Paul Pogba and Wolfsburg’s Kevin de Bruyne.
City chairman Khaldoon AL-Mubarak vowed earlier this week to rebuild the City squad after the deposed champions ended last season empty-handed.
“We’ve created a nucleus and we want to preserve that nucleus,” said Khaldoon. “But at the same time, we want to go to the next level with a squad that has the capability and quality to win the Premier League and compete in and win the Champions League and go all the way in two cup comps in England.
“You will see some changes. Some players who have served us well, but they will move on to the next challenges, while you will see us in the market bringing high quality individuals to fit in with what we are aspiring to become in this summer.
“I can assure you this squad will be stronger and the team will be more competitive. I am confident and excited about what is coming next year.”
City will listen to offers for Samir Nasri, Edin Dzeko, Jesus Navas, Stevan Jovetic, Gael Clichy, Alekxander Kolarov and Bacary Sagna in order to raise funds and trim the wage bill. The Premier League club were fined by Uefa last summer for breaching Financial Fair Play rules.
Khaldoon has promised to attract the quality needed to recapture the title and make a big impression in the Champions League.
“We’ve created a nucleus and we want to preserve that nucleus,” said Khaldoon.
“But at the same time, we want to go to the next level with a squad that has the capability and quality to win the Premier League and compete in and win the Champions League and go all the way in two cup comps in England.
City’s spanish executives Ferran Soriano and Txiki Begiristain have been tasked with what is likely to be the biggest overhaul of the squad since the summers of 2010 and 2011.
Sources expect the spend on incoming talent to eclipse even Real Madrid’s world-record splurge in 2009 when Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka headlined the Spanish club’s staggering £190m investment.
City know that neighbours Manchester United will follow their £149m spend on new players last summer by backing Louis van Gaal to the hilt in the market for the second consecutive year.
As revealed by Football Insider, United are ready to spend up to £200m to strengthen Van Gaal’s squad.