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Ronaldinho - the most important signing the club could make

A quiet week news wise following the appointment of Mark Hughes last week, with the new boss getting down to business and presumably pulling names out of a hat to try and find a striking permutation from those currently on the books.

It is another striker though who continues to garner most of the column of inches of late, and news of the potential Ronaldinho signing is gathering pace with The Independent reporting of our four-stage plan to sign him, indicating that the player has shown his interest in signing.

When news first surfaced a month or so ago, it was widely viewed with scepticism or even amusement from the wider footballing community, but now it does appear to be a genuine move the surprising issue for me is that there is a degree of anti-Ronaldinho rhetoric from City fans, not to mention the media.

The Guardian had a piece today which was a scathing attack not only regarding a move for the Brazillian, but at the club as a whole and direction we have taken since Thaksin took control.

For me, too many people are looking into the potential move and searching for reasons for it to fail rather than looking at the overriding positives it could create. Perhaps this is a trait all too common in the British psyche?

Don't for one minute think I am looking at this through large blue-tinted spectacles, knowing full well there are pitfalls involved in such a move, overwhelmingly the issue of funding his wages if we bring in an element of third party sponsorship (particularly if it is Nike given their alledged dubious interference with the Brazillian national side). There are enough off the field situations and issues that I find distasteful at the club already, but looking at it from a footballing perspective I cannot find a reason against signing him.

Realistically, in his pomp Ronaldinho didn't even consider a move to the Premiership, let alone sign for ourselves at the stage we are but for one reason or another (and he is by no means blameless) he has found himself - at the age of 28, consider washed up or damaged goods.

This is not however the equivalent of signing George Weah again.

Cast your mind back two or three years (before the emergence of the trio of wunderkids Kaka, Messi and Ronaldo) and he was considered the consensus best player in the world. The guy is not a has been or thirty-something faded veteran eyeing one last pay day and surely there are cheaper ways to sell shirts than an outlay of £200,000 a week if that was oue intention.

He is 28 years old and has not become a liability overnight. I am surprised that a 'bigger' side has not decreed him worth a (calculated) risk, but their loss could well be our gain. Yes it is likely that he would sign for us because we are offering the most money, but does not happen throughout the Premier League when players sign for the top clubs? Lets not kid ourselves that Premier League sides will ever be filled again with 11 Mike Doyle's who would bleed blue and white if you cut them open.

To coin an often and over used cliche, he would also 'put us on the map', something the club is clearly working hard on achieving on a global scale and signing Ronaldinho could be the fulcrum and pivotal signing that clubs need to kick on and attract players of a similar (and better) calibre.

We currently reside in the Premier League as a side on the outside looking in (and up) at those clubs in front of us. We have a good base from last season with some good players in our ranks. None however, are as good as Ronaldinho and no-one can argue that he would not benefit the current side or improve the players we already have.

It is getting more and more difficult to penetrate the upper reaches of the Premier League, and it is virtually certain that it cannot be breached plodding along at a nice pace, preaching the virtues of patient building. At some stage if you are going to kick on and really achieve success you have to gamble, take a chance.

With that is an element of risk. Signing Ronaldinho would undoubtedly be that, but to resist the chance of signing him would be an affront to the ambition the club states it has.

Not to mention the fans who have put up with so much over in recent times.