Manchester City defend their £24million purchase of Joleon Lescott
Published 22:03 24/08/09 By By David Anderson
Manchester City insist Joleon Lescott represents “good value“ after splashing out £24million to make him the third most-expensive defender ever.
Lescott was completing his acrimonious move from Everton on Monday night after having his medical and agreeing a five-year deal worth £94,000-a-week.
Only Alessandro Nesta and Rio Ferdinand have cost more and the England international’s capture will take Mark Hughes’ spending to £120million this summer.
Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak defended Hughes’ spree, insisting City have not paid over the odds for any of their new signings.
“At the end of the day, the value of a player is up to the club that’s purchasing him and the need for that player,” he said.
“Looking back on every one of the acquisitions we have made, I think they are good value. We would not have done them if they were not good value. The years will show and the results will show that they were the right choices.
“Alex Ferguson was commenting on the price we paid for Carlos Tevez, and I thought Mark’s response was spot on. The value of Carlos Tevez to Manchester City is different to the value of Carlos Tevez to Manchester United.
“We are building a club that will be one of the top clubs in Europe and that will take time and the financial commitment, which we are undertaking.
“You won’t reach that top echelon of European football by not investing and that’s the reality of the business today.”
City’s capture of Lescott will finally end the summer’s most protracted and bitter transfer saga.
Everton manager David Moyes is livid with City’s behaviour and slammed their conduct as “disgusting”.
Khaldoon insists the club have done everything right and feels the sniping will only get worse as City become more successful.
“There’s always going to be criticism, especially when you are successful, and you just have to deal with it,” he said. “I think we have dealt with it very well over the last 12 months.
“It’s only going to increase. Let’s be clear, with the ambition we have and with what we have committed to this club, I have no doubts that we will have a lot more critics in the years to come.
“But these critics will hopefully be because of our success and we will deal with it. It doesn’t faze me, Gary [Cook] or Mark or our leadership team and we are looking forward to proving to everyone that we can do it the right way.”
Lescott, 27, is set to be officially unveiled by City on Tuesday and could make his Blues debut in Thursday’s Carling Cup clash with Crystal Palace.
He will team up at Eastlands with Brazilian left-back Sylvinho, who has agreed a one-year deal, after Hughes picked him up on a free transfer from Barcelona.
Hughes enquired about Sylvinho when he was at the Nou Camp last week for City’s friendly and feels the 35-year-old, whose last game was against Manchester United in the Champions League Final, is ideal back-up for Wayne Bridge.
“Sylvinho has a wealth of experience at the very top level, having represented Brazil and played for some of the very top clubs in Europe,” said Hughes.
“When the chance presented itself to bring him to Manchester City as a free agent I saw it as representing excellent business for us.”