It has been almost four years since Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan took over Manchester City and since then the world of football has watched on in envy at the lavish spending that has culminated in the Premier League title this year.
But all good things must come to an end and while the spending is unlikely to stop, you will undoubtedly see a more conservative approach to transfers at Eastlands this summer.
Indeed, the focus will be on who City ship out rather than who they bring in, with a number currently out on loan the first to be culled.
The likes of Emmanuel Adebayor, Roque Santa Cruz and Wayne Bridge will all be wearing different colours next year, freeing up valuable funds on the wage bill with Uefa’s Financial Fair Play restrictions looming ever closer.
Other fringe players like Adam Johnson, Owen Hargreaves and Stefan Savić will also be considered for a potential big money switch as manager Roberto Mancini streamlines his squad for a crack at the Champions League next season.
In order to do that though those exits will have to be supplemented by a couple of high quality signings, with Robin van Persie, Eden Hazard and Jan Vertonghen all targets.
But don’t expect City to be held to ransom as they have been in previous years, the current squad is capable of winning the Premier League again next year and breaking even financially will be a big target for the club’s hierarchy.
Only two of the fabled ‘Schweinsteiger generation’ are left at Bayern Munich now and they will not get a better chance than Saturday night to win the Champions League.
Both Philipp Lahm and Bastian Schweinsteiger are considered among the best talents in world football but should they fail to win it, they will struggle to be remembered outside of Munich, and certainly not within it.
When you’ve got champions like Franz Beckenbaur, Gerd Muller and Oliver Kahn to hark back to, it’s imperative you’re part of a successful Bayern side that conquers Europe to leave any sort of legacy at the Bavarian club.
The Bayern duo are in their prime and incredibly time is still on their side, but you have to take your opportunities when they present themselves, and will there be a better time to win Europe’s top prize against an understrength Chelsea?
Should they fail to convert a second European final in two years, an inferiority complex might rear its head because neither player has ever won anything of note.
That would be a gross injustice – Lahm and Schweinsteiger are two of the best in the business and the German national team they’ve helped mould is a joy to watch.
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