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Transfer lull

"We will shrink our squad and add four to six players," he said. "But there are two things going on. One, a general view of Arab investors and two, a whole hierarchy within football where there is a group of clubs that fall within the hierarchy and the clubs that fall outside don’t have a seat at the table and shouldn’t even demand one.

"I’m frustrated with people assuming we are going to throw crazy money at deals, that we won’t understand true values and we can’t negotiate or get value for a player.

"We’ve had numbers thrown at us that are a joke. There are situations where a £10m player will be offered to us for a ‘City price’ of £20m. We just leave. If people are throwing crazy numbers at us, fine, deals won’t be done.
>>Khaldoon Al Mubarak

To suggest a further 'four to six players' is quite a claim given the recent lack of activity since the arrival of Gareth Barry, and you sense there is some frustration around over the lack of further additions.

This is especially so given the confidence Garry Cook had that all transfer activity would be completed by the start of pre-season training, and perhaps the same frustrations in trying to conclude transfers that we saw in January are again being experienced.

His comments may be designed to serve a dual purpose - both in trying to reassure fans that plans are afoot, and to also put out a message out to other clubs that we will not be held to ransom.

I imagine that Hughes identified well before the end of the season precisely the players he wants to bring into the club, but that immediately after the season managers, agents and players alike are away, which makes it difficult to conclude deals (although I accept the signing of Barry was an anomaly in this respect). Looking around as a whole, there is very little in the way of deals being concluded (despite the endless speculation), but as we head to the end of June we should begin to see deals fall into place.