Manchester City planning Palermo mission to widen gap with Arsenal and Premier League pretenders – Tom Canton

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Since the rise of Manchester City, Arsenal have been unable to compete with their financial might and eventual hyper-club status with a team of superstars. The Gunners have been trying to fight their way back of late but it will take an enormous effort to close the gap.

However, Man City have an advantage that Arsenal cannot match to allow command of the transfer market from a youth standpoint. Due to the impacts of Brexit, it has become harder for English clubs to acquire young talent from abroad.

However, City have an edge on this over clubs due to the City Football Group’s collection of teams from around the world. The CFG is made up of Manchester City, New York City FC, Melbourne City, Yokohama F. Marinos, Montevideo City Torque, Girona FC, Sichuan Jiuniu, Mumbai City FC, Lommel SK and Troyes.

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This gives CFG coverage in over ten different countries on five different continents. In Europe, England, Spain, France and Belgium are covered.

CFG now plan to buy 80% of Palermo in Serie B. The Italian side have been perpetually promoted and relegated between the top two tiers of Italian football but the investment from their potential new majority shareholders could give them the stability they need. Not only this, but it would give CFG a greater avenue into Italian youth football. Palermo would become another outlet to bring players into, to develop before possibly making the switch to Manchester.

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From an Arsenal perspective, it isn’t good news. Another club in the CFG group will make it trickier for the Gunners to compete with City in the market.

Arsenal recently witnessed the transfer disadvantage when fighting for Atletico Mineiro winger Savio, who was linked with a move ahead of the summer transfer window. Edu was rumoured to be pushing to complete a deal but eventually, City won the race.

That said, it will not be Manchester City that Savio joins and instead will link up with Troyes in France. Where he could stay or leave on loan, PSV have been mentioned in the past.

This is likely how City were able to beat Arsenal with regular minutes being guaranteed to Savio whereas the Gunners would have needed to organise a loan deal. The north London side have no partnerships with the club officially like the CFG.

Their closest links are with the Colorado Rapids in MLS who are also owned by Stan Kroenke. The Gunners recently purchased Auston Trusty, a 23-year-old centre half, in January. He is expected to link up with his new side in the summer before going out on loan.

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Mikel Arteta spoke recently about building a relationship with neighbours Watford. The fellow Premier League side occupy the Gunners’ old training ground. That said the club haven’t conducted much transfer business with the side who have links to Granada in Spain and Udinese in Italy.

“Well, I had some friends from my time there and it’s very easy because after training you just crash into each other with your cars. I think it’s great,” said Arteta.

“I think that relationship should be stronger and stronger and for example, Edu has done some work on that to build those relationships because we are close I think we can help each other in many ways as well. I think it’s a possible thing.”

Asked what a possible relationship with Watford might look like, Arteta said: “It depends. At least open the relationships and explore possibilities that we can have with our players, with their players.

“They’re next door and we can compete against each other, but at the same time, I think it’s important to have good relationships and that’s the case, I think.” Arsenal seriously need to consider stepping up their diplomatic efforts with other sides. They risk missing out on potential opportunities should they not.

Source by Football London

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