Manchester City eye long-term transfer policy

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The Independent Online

Manchester City's transfer plans extend across four transfer windows and not just the current one.

After their very public rejection by Brazilian playmaker Kaka on Monday night, City have now moved on.

With Wayne Bridge and Craig Bellamy already signed up, the Blues are now looking to conclude the transfer of Holland international Nigel de Jong before pursuing another couple of targets manager Mark Hughes believes are essential if City are to start punching their weight in the Premier League.

Newcastle goalkeeper Shay Given and Blackburn striker Roque Santa Cruz are the men thought to be on Hughes' hit-list.

However, executive chairman Garry Cook is planning way beyond that as a strategy has been developed that takes City beyond the summer of 2010.

"Over the next four windows we have got a clear list of players that we would like to see at this football club," Cook told www.mcfc.co.uk.

"We choose not to get into the public space, which allows itself to be speculative, but we clearly know what we're doing and I think that the fans are going to be excited."

The De Jong deal could be completed at any time.

Although reports have emerged that the player has agreed personal terms, it is not thought talks have been concluded to City's satisfaction just yet.

However, Hamburg coach Martin Jol is already planning for life without the 24-year-old who is expected to make his debut against Newcastle on 28 January.

Not surprisingly given City's financial strength, plenty of agents have been on the telephone offering the services of their clients.

Cook has dismissed a substantial proportion because the method of discussion has not been to his liking.

"We have rejected an awful lot because the negotiating process became ridiculous," he said.

"Overall we have had a good transfer window.

"We had very clear plans going into it and we are ticking the boxes as we go."

Aside from the Kaka deal falling through, the major blot is Robinho's continuing absence.

The £32.5m forward has pledged to return after quitting City's training camp in Tenerife to fly back to Brazil to address 'a family matter'.

It is not known when that will be, although he is expected to be facing a fine when he does arrive in the UK as he left without Hughes' permission.

That should not jeopardise his chances of being involved against Newcastle though as City look to build on their run of seven points from three games, which represents their best sequence of the season.

"We have got some great players here and adding to the squad is only going to enhance us," said Cook.

"We are on a bit of a run now and we would like to continue it."

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