Emmanuel Adebayor last night spoke of the value that his former Arsenal team-mate Kolo Touré – a name on Manchester City's defensive wishlist – would represent for the club if they move to sign him.
Though John Terry and Joleon Lescott are City's prime defensive targets, City and Arsenal were in lengthy discussions during Adebayor's move to Eastlands and Arsène Wenger would not be surprised if Mark Hughes's side came back in with a £12m bid for the defender.
City expressed interest in buying him in January and received positive initial signals but Touré then appeared to cool on the idea. The presence of Adebayor – a close friend of Touré – may well make City more appealing now.
"He is a very good friend of mine and he is one of the top defenders around this league," said Adebayor, who City manager Mark Hughes indicated yesterday would play a significant part in the final of the Vodacom Challenge against Kaizer Chiefs here today.
"He has been playing in the league for seven or eight years, he knows it well and if they managed to get him he can do a job," the striker said.
"We all know how good Kolo Touré is and I think the club need one good more good defender like him or John Terry. We all hope that it comes soon."
Though there remains no sense of pessimism in the City ranks that the England captain Terry is destined to stay at Chelsea, despite some sources with the FA Cup holders in the US suggesting he may have decided to stay with his current club, Hughes asked yesterday for an end to discussion on the subject.
"We keep on discussing certain individuals and we keep on trying to give the same response," Hughes said. "There is no value from our point of view to keep on saying the same things. I'd much prefer to talk about the players we have signed. Really that's where my focus lies in the coming days.
"Obviously the situation with other players, and whether they come to the club, may well be resolved in the completion of the transfer window. But there is no news to add, so why discuss it?"
Chelsea have questioned City's actions in the way they have gone about attempting to lure Terry away from Stamford Bridge, but Hughes insists his side have done nothing wrong. "I don't think there is any doubt about that," he said.
Adebayor did not want to discuss whether other clubs were in contention to sign him before the City deal was completed.
"I don't want to dwell on that any more," he said. "I've signed for Man City but people will be thinking why did I sign? It was the way they approached me and the way they showed me their ambition. This club wants to be one of the biggest in the world."
Hughes suggested that Robinho would also be likely to feature today, though as expected Carlos Tevez will be absent – his bruised heel meaning that he will not train for a week and does not even look likely to feature in the friendly against Barnsley at Oakwell a week today.Reuse content