As Manchester City continue their pursuit of the world's top players, Richard Dunne believes the club now has the stature to attract anyone. John Terry, Emmanuel Adebayor and Joleon Lescott remain in the frame for moves to Eastlands, following the captures of Carlos Tevez, Gareth Barry and Roque Santa Cruz. The six players are proven internationals with Premier League experience and signify City's intent to challenge for major trophies.
Dunne, the captain, says the club, owned by Sheikh Mansour, have shown they can lure the best. "I think any player can be persuaded to come here," he said. "Any player who has the opportunity to come here will realise the challenge, and we have got a chance to win trophies, and we will have a good a chance as any to get into the top four. "Adebayor would be an outstanding signing. Twelve months ago every club in Europe wanted him and hopefully now we are going to get him.
"The quality in the squad has just grown, he will bring goals and the stature in the squad. "I think the manager is building a squad capable of challenging on all fronts and any injuries and suspensions come about, there will be a top quality player to come in." Talks are progressing to sign the Arsenal striker Adebayor for £25million (Dh150m) while Chelsea are fighting to keep hold of Terry and Everton yesterday rejected a £15m bid for Lescott.
The City manager, Mark Hughes, remains confident he can bring in his top targets for the new season, but says he is prepared to wait until close to the end of the transfer window to get them. "It not a scattergun approach that we have and getting someone in just because we can," he added. "We have a clear idea of who we want. Adebayor is a player who is proven in the Premier League and can score goals.
"He has a physical presence and if we can bring him to the club we will be delighted. "It's an important factor that he has Premier League experience. We are a side who are still developing and if you bring in too many players from outside it's more difficult for them to adapt and blend quickly. "I said at the beginning of the window that ideally we would like all our signings in place for the start of the season. But if the right player is available and it takes until the end of the window then so be it.
"You always have to give each transfer deal the time it deserves. If we feel the process is not going to progress then we walk away." City will show off their new buys Tevez, Barry and Santa Cruz - and their new Etihad-sponsored kit - in today's opening game of the Vodafone Challenge tournament against the Orlando Pirates. The game is an 18,000 sell-out as the club have generated massive interest since arriving in South Africa.
Garry Cook, the club's executive chairman, said of the squad: "The quality of players that we are bringing to the club is showing the intent of our owners and our ambition continues to reach new heights. "When you start to do that, that attention starts to develop a fan base around the world. "Everybody likes to have fans around the world and not just in Manchester, so we hope we will become the darling of world football."