Emmanuel Adebayor, the want-away Manchester City striker, will have noted with interest how the Abu Dhabi-owned club lowered their asking price for Jerome Boateng yesterday and allowed him to join Bayern Munich.
Boateng, 22, is with the City squad in Los Angeles but is expected to arrive in Munich in the next few days for a medical after the two clubs agreed on a deal reportedly worth €13.5million (Dh70,634m) rising to €17m depending on various clauses. City had been asking in the region of €20m for a player they paid £10.4m (Dh61.705m) to sign from Hamburg 12 months ago.
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, the Bayern chief executive officer, acknowledged the negotiations "were intense".
"It took a long time before we could get this transfer to a satisfactory conclusion," Rummenigge said.
Boateng's arrival will be Bayern's fifth summer signing — along with the Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, Rafinha, a Brazil defender, the striker Nils Petersen and Japan's rising star Takashi Usami — and ends their interest in Alex, Chelsea's Brazilian defender.
Adebayor hopes to join Boateng in walking through the exit door at the Etihad Stadium and his preferred destination is Real Madrid.
Real, however, are not prepared to pay anything like the reported £25m City paid for the Togolese striker in 2009. Adebayor has fallen badly out of favour at City, but the club will not be prepared to sell the player for a cut-price fee, especially with the future of Carlos Tevez so uncertain.
Adebayor is likely to have to lower his wage demands if he is to secure a dream return to the Bernabeu, where he spent the second half of last season on loan.
"I don't want to go anywhere other than Madrid," Adebayor told AS, the Spanish newspaper. "If I could play three or four years in Madrid, I would retire at the club."
Working with Jose Mourinho, the Real manager, is key to Adebayor's desire to go back to Spain.
"He gave me the confidence I needed, made me believe in myself and enjoy football again," Adebayor said. "Mourinho is the best coach I've ever worked with, no doubt, and Madrid will win titles with him. I would love to play under him again and I say, 'I'm here if you need me'."
Patrick Vieira, meanwhile, has retired as a player to take up a new role of football development executive at City
"This role is a fantastic new challenge for me, and I am very grateful to Manchester City for offering me this opportunity," Vieira said.
"I have a lot to learn about the non-playing areas of the business, but there are many very experienced people here for me to learn from, and I am confident that I can make a significant contribution to the club's ongoing success."
Vieira's new post will entail "a wide-ranging role, helping to deliver the club's social responsibility programme, both in the UK and abroad, as well as working closely with City's commercial partners, and taking an active role in the development of youngsters at the Platt Lane complex".
* Compiled by The National staff