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Manchester City fringe players who can now be offloaded to cut the wage bill

Manchester City are on the verge of signing Sergio Aguero from Atletico Madrid for a large transfer fee, and the diminutive Argentine will be paid handsomely for swapping the Vicente Calderon for Eastlands. With another high paid star on the books, and the club one of the biggest spenders in terms of salaries in Europe, a number of players need to be sold to recuperate the transfer fees spent and limit the wage bill.

Although Sheik Mansour and the owners of the football club are not overly concerned with the amount of money spent given the multi-millions at their disposal, Fifa’s new financial fair play ruling could have a real impact on the leading clubs over the next couple of seasons. With a deal to sell the naming rights of the stadium in place to help to try and balance the profit and loss account, the next sensible move is to ditch a number of top earning players that do not warrant large salaries.

Emmanuel Adebayor should be the first man on the list. The Togolese striker has refused to turn up for pre-season training, so straight away should not be paid further. The ex-Arsenal man has made it painstakingly clear in the media that he will not don the blue of the Manchester City jersey ever again, and although the club are holding out for half of the £25 million paid for the attacker in July 2009, the club should cut their losses and get rid of a player who threatens to upset the apple cart and eat into the outfit’s finances.

Craig Bellamy is another who is surplus to requirements, and although he had a promising start to his time in Manchester is unlikely to feature for the club again any time soon. Again a loss on the transfer fee (£14 million) paid will have to be suffered, but the player’s high wages are cutting into the side’s budget. At 32-years-old City cannot expect to recuperate too much for the Welsh forward, but a sale for a couple of million and another high earner off the payroll is a smart move.

Wayne Bridge is an unnecessary luxury, as the England international will be behind Alexander Kolarov and Gael Clichy at left back, and instead of loaning him out, which does not have much benefit for the club, he should be sold. Shaun Wight Phillips and Roque Santa Cruz’s roles at the club must also be assessed, as the pair pulled on their soccer shoes on fleeting occasions in 2010-11, and would not be missed if they did depart.

Fifa’s financial ruling will shackle some of the wealthiest sides in Europe, and go some way to bringing the game back to a level playing field. Therefore, despite money not being an object to the owners, the club must be run more like a business to ensure compliance with the new legislature.

Gareth McKnight writes for

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