Welcome to 2009, or, should I say, welcome to the January transfer window. Santa may deliver presents on December 25th but for football fans, it is the earliest times of the year in which the real gifts arrive. New players, or at the very least lots of transfer gossip.
There was always one spoilt kid in school that had a better Christmas than anyone else and the football equivalent of that snooty bastard is Manchester City. Today, they may be close to signing AC Milan's Kaka in a world record £100m transfer deal. Or they may not. Only time will tell but one thing is for sure, the takeover of Manchester City by an Arab consortium has changed football...for now.
They signalled their intent with the capture of Robinho in the dying minutes of the last transfer window. It was more than the signing of the talented Brazilian that was important. The key to this deal was beating English football's previous bg spenders, Chelsea, who also wanted to sign one of the most over-rated players in world football. And it wasn't that they didn't want him.
So what now? It doesn't really matter. Some may question the sanity in spending so much on Kaka in this recession you might have heard about, but the truth is, whether they do or not, Manchester City now have financial muscle which (at the moment) far outweighs their prowess on the pitch. They are the coming force in world football and Mark Hughes (or perhaps more appropriately the man who replaces Mark Hughes) seemingly will have a Football Manager-esque transfer policy, with a cheque book that even Abramovich would flinch at.
Unless of course they get relegated...
The image of Kaka, Robinho and a new age Galacticos playing at the New Den, Portman Road and Turf Moor is enough to make this Manchester United fan smile. Hey... we're allowed to dream too, City fans.