It’s a little known fact that Manchester City only bought Sergio Aguero in the first place because Alexis Sanchez did not want to join them.
It was the summer of 2011 and Sanchez was giving City the run-around. At the time, the club had started securing marquee names - Carlos Tevez, Yaya Toure and David Silva – to make a statement of intent and accelerate their development but the Chilean only had eyes for Barcelona.
His representatives had fluttered their eyelashes at City while they needed negotiating options, but then the mood changed and phone calls suddenly went returned. There were unconvincing explanations for this. ‘Sorry, mobile on the blink.’
Manchester City missed out on the deadline day signing of primary target Alexis Sanchez
Aguero was a 23-year-old keen to leave Atletico Madrid and his agent happened to be with City's player acquisition staff at the M56 Marriott hotel near Manchester, as the Sanchez trail went cold.
Juventus wanted Aguero too, so City pounced, closing the Aguero deal immediately and telling their senior man in Spain to quit trying to call the Sanchez camp. The rest, as they say, is history.
The point of the story is that City did their talking early and had back-up options in that distant summer - and have generally made it an article of faith to avoid the madness of deadline day.
They always needed to build in plenty of time, in the days when attracting players to their stadium proved such a hard sell. Few present in the summer of 2009 forget the reply a senior City executive got when knocked on the door of Dmitri Seluk’s hotel room door in Rome to discuss the idea of buying his client, Yaya Toure. ‘Manchester City?’ Seluk scoffed. ‘Why should he leave Barcelona for you?’
It’s a little known fact that City bought Sergio Aguero because Sanchez did not want to join
Their director of football model, set up by former chief executive Garry Cook, made City organised in a way that Manchester United, heavily reliant on agents Jorge Mendes and Mino Raiola, have