City to play waiting game
Manchester City manager Mark Hughes is willing to wait for the right deal as he looks to put the finishing touches to his squad. City were among the first clubs to enter the transfer market this summer when they swooped to sign Gareth Barry from Aston Villa, and have since completed deals to bring forwards Carlos Tevez, Emmanuel Adebayor and Roque Santa Cruz to the club.
But Hughes's attempts to improve the City defence have so far been met with frustration, as Chelsea insist John Terry is not for sale and Everton have rejected an opening offer for Joleon Lescott. While the former Wales attacker has admitted he wants deals done as soon as possible, he will not rush unnecessarily.
"At the beginning of the season, we wanted all the players in the building to start training, but we are prepared to wait," he said during the club's pre-season tour of South Africa. "It is all about giving the deal the opportunity to develop. We want to strengthen our defence but we will concentrate on what we are doing here (in South Africa) first."
City's pursuit of Terry - a move which once again demonstrates the huge ambition of the Eastlands club - is being played out in public, and that is to the frustration of Hughes, who has rejected the notion the club are in any way guilty of tapping up the England captain.
"We made a bid for John but we tried to keep it under the radar," Hughes said. "Chelsea allowed the bid to enter the public domain and ever since I have been answering questions on the matter. There was no issue that needed to be raised."
Hughes must now decide whether to play Tevez against Kaizer Chiefs in Durban tonight. The Argentinian joined the team at the weekend, but remains a major doubt due to a heel problem he sustained before his arrival at the club.
"Carlos will have his first training with the team today (Monday). He has not trained due to the bruising in his heel," Hughes explained. "It may be too soon to play him tomorrow but we hope he will play a part in the game.
"Gareth Barry will take part in tomorrow's game. Emmanuel Adebayor is expected to be in the country tomorrow but will not play in tomorrow's game. He will however be available for the final."