Manchester City will not be held to ransom says Hughes

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The Independent Online

Manchester City manager Mark Hughes insists the cash-rich club will not pay over the odds for star players in the transfer window.



City have been linked with some of the top names in the game, including Gianluigi Buffon and Brazilian midfielder Kaka, but Hughes said the club will not pay well above the going rate.

He told the club's official website, www.mcfc.co.uk: "We're aware of this assumption about the level of finance that we'll throw at the project in January, but we still have realistic market values.

"There is also an assumption that we will stimulate the market, that the money sloshing around will be from the deals that we have started, but we have to make sure we protect the club as well.

"The deals that we do will have to be good ones, but we are quite happy at the moment. We know that there will be a premium that we will probably have to pay because it's January, and teams don't want to lose their better players. But it will not be to the extent where we are paying hugely over the market value."

City have not had the best first half of the season, leading to some speculation about Hughes' position, but he insists he remains positive about the rest of the campaign - if he can make the right signings.

Hughes added: "We have to make sure that the players we want to bring in are good for us in terms of quality and their position in the squad. If we do that I am very positive for the second half of the season.

"It's not an exact science. You have to look at what's out there, what's attainable and the price clubs are asking for.

"There is a budget out there, and we will work within that. The key thing is to make sure the quality we bring in supplements the quality we already have here. I feel that the addition of the right players will give us more consistency in the second half of the season."

Meanwhile, Nedum Onuoha will miss Saturday's FA Cup tie against Nottingham Forest after picking up a hamstring injury last weekend.

Hughes said: "It's unfortunate for him and a shame because he did really well in the second half against Hull, and again at Blackburn last Sunday.

"Hopefully it is only a six to eight-day injury and he will be okay for the trip to Portsmouth."

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