Manchester City begin to rebuild and rebrand for future

Deposed champions arrive in US to unveil kit deal, talk players and announce a sister club

New York

Manchester City touched down in New York intent on building on their status as Abu Dhabi’s prime football franchise, in the week that Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan is expected to announce he has secured a deal to establish a Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise.

As The Independent reported last month, City’s arrival is timed to coincide with the expected announcement of a $100m (£65m) Abu Dhabi deal to establish the 20th MLS team, to be called New York City FC. There has been some resistance from locals opposed to the idea of a 13-acre plot of the Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, in Queens, being given to Sheikh Mansour for a nominal sum in return for the construction of a $340m (£220m) stadium.

But that is seen as no more than par for the course in this city. “You try and set up a lemonade stand here and some people will organise against it,” one observer said last night. New York’s outgoing mayor, Michael Bloomberg, appears to have won through in his attempts to ensure that the Abu Dhabi money is secured for the city.

The trip is about City, too. The club’s need for new revenues has never been greater and against the New York skyline today they are expected to announce a new, six-year kit deal with Nike, worth £12m a year. That represents a considerable increase on the previous deal, at a time that Manchester United are negotiating their own kit sponsorship tie-up, possibly worth up to £58m a year.

City are also understood to be making progress in their pursuit of the Napoli striker Edinson Cavani, as they seek to make their squad capable of winning back the title they relinquished to Manchester United. But no breakthrough is imminent with Napoli and uncertainty also surrounds the future of Sergio Aguero, which is hampering attempts to settle on a strike force for the 2013-14 season. Aguero’s split from his wife, Giannina, who is installed with their four-year-old son, Ben, in Madrid, has created the threat of Aguero leaving City for the Bernabeu after two seasons in England.

The concerns about Aguero’s intentions have put Carlos Tevez in limbo, with the Argentine one year away from the expiry of his City contract. The sale of Tevez would release £250,000 a week from the wage bill and help City to pay the wages required to make them the most attractive proposition to Cavani. But if City were to lose Aguero and Tevez they would be left virtually to rebuild their strike force.

City are not seeking to buy Radamel Falcao, despite Atletico Madrid’s declaration yesterday that they are selling. Monaco is almost certainly Falcao’s destination. The wait for Manuel Pellegrini’s appointment as first-team coach is also contributing to uncertainty for Tevez, though the creation of a squad for next season is progressing without the 59-year-old.

City have had an active interest in Cavani for several years, though his cost has always been a problem. The representative of the club who first met his agent was quoted €50m, at a time when City were telling agents that the days of them paying overinflated transfer fees to accelerate their progress were now over. He has a £52m buyout clause at the Italian club.

City play Chelsea twice in the next few days – in Saint Louis on Thursday and in New York next Saturday. The squad arrived to a noisy welcome from local schoolchildren – but also to a cover story about Wigan Athletic in the sports section of the New York Times, reflecting on a team “Lingering at  the Exit”.

There was no mention of the profile City are expected to command here this week – or their presence. All that may change when they have a sister club playing in the MLS franchise from the 2014-15 season. When Sheikh Mansour embarks on a project, he does not do it by halves.

All sewn up: Top kit deals

1. Real Madrid Adidas (until 2020) £28.5m per year

2. Barcelona Nike (until 2018) £26.3m

3. Liverpool Warrior (until 2015) £25m

4. Bayern Munich Adidas (until 2020) £23.6m

5. Manchester United Nike (until 2015) £23.5m

6. Chelsea Adidas (until 2018) £20m

7. Manchester City

Nike (until 2019) £12m

International

1. France Nike (until 2018) £36m per year

2. England Nike (until 2018) £25m

3. Germany Adidas (until 2018) £22m

4. Brazil Nike (until 2018) £21m

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese and DiCaprio, at an awards show in 2010
filmsDe Niro, DiCaprio and Pitt to star
News
i100
News
In this photo illustration a school student eats a hamburger as part of his lunch which was brought from a fast food shop near his school, on October 5, 2005 in London, England. The British government has announced plans to remove junk food from school lunches. From September 2006, food that is high in fat, sugar or salt will be banned from meals and removed from vending machines in schools across England. The move comes in response to a campaign by celebrity TV chef Jamie Oliver to improve school meals.
science
Sport
England captain Wayne Rooney during training
FOOTBALLNew captain vows side will deliver against Norway for small crowd
Life and Style
Red or dead: An actor portrays Hungarian countess Elizabeth Báthory, rumoured to have bathed in blood to keep youthful
health
News
peopleJustin Bieber charged with assault and dangerous driving after crashing quad bike into a minivan
News
peopleHis band Survivor was due to resume touring this month
News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Life and Style
fashionModel of the moment shoots for first time with catwalk veteran
Sport
Radamel Falcao poses with his United shirt
FOOTBALLRadamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant in Colombia to Manchester United's star signing
Life and Style
fashionAngelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Chief inspector of GPs: ‘Most doctors don’t really know what bad practice can be like for patients’

Steve Field: ‘Most doctors don’t really know what bad practice can be like for patients’

The man charged with inspecting doctors explains why he may not be welcome in every surgery
Stolen youth: Younger blood can reverse many of the effects of ageing

Stolen youth

Younger blood can reverse many of the effects of ageing
Bob Willoughby: Hollywood's first behind the scenes photographer

Bob Willoughby: The reel deal

He was the photographer who brought documentary photojournalism to Hollywood, changing the way film stars would be portrayed for ever
Hollywood heavyweights produce world's most expensive corporate video - for Macau casino

Hollywood heavyweights produce world's most expensive corporate video - for Macau casino

Scorsese in the director's chair with De Niro, DiCaprio and Pitt to star
Angelina Jolie's wedding dress: made by Versace, designed by her children

Made by Versace, designed by her children

Angelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
Anyone for pulled chicken?

Pulling chicks

Pulled pork has gone from being a US barbecue secret to a regular on supermarket shelves. Now KFC is trying to tempt us with a chicken version
9 best steam generator irons

9 best steam generator irons

To get through your ironing as swiftly as possible, invest in one of these efficient gadgets
England v Norway: Wayne Rooney admits England must ‘put on a show’ to regain faith

Rooney admits England must ‘put on a show’ to regain faith

New captain vows side will deliver for small Wembley crowd
‘We knew he was something special:’ Radamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant to Manchester United's star signing

‘We knew he was something special’

Radamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant to Manchester United's star signing
'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York