Thursday, August 8th, 2013
The fire-sale at Russian side Anji Makhachkala looks likely to see Premier League clubs attempt to pick up bargain basement signings and reports from Brazil suggest Manchester City are already looking to take advantage.
To recap, it’s been a dramatic 48 hours for Anji as the club have begun the process of “reformatting” in which former Manchester United coach Rene Meulensteen was sacked after 16 days, the annual budget slashed to $50-70m, down from their previous outlay of $180m a season, and all their top players have been put up for sale.
Besides Samuel Eto’o (who is already attracting the interest of Chelsea and Arsenal) their best asset may well be 24-year-old Brazilian midfielder Willian.
He made his name in Europe at Shakhtar Donetsk before a big money move to Anji last January and could well be coveted by some of the biggest clubs on the continent now.
ESPN Brazil report that Manchester City made a 40 million euro bid for Willian, earlier this week, before it was announced that Anji would be getting rid of their biggest stars.
Now, ESPN Brazil suggest Manchester City will return with another offer for Willian which could well be significantly less than they originally offered.
This would be some coup for new Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini, even by the standards of the 2011/2012 Premier League champions and may spell the end of Samir Nasri’s time at the Etihad.