City connection results in unfair transfer field

NO disrespect to Anthony Caceres, but I doubt we will ever see him in a Manchester City shirt.

In fact, I would suggest that City boss Manuel Pellegrini has not even seen the 23-year-old play ... well, not in the flesh anyway.

So why then would the Chilean spend $300,000 to sign Caceres from the Central Coast Mariners?

I for one cannot see the Sydney-born midfielder ousting the likes of Yaya Toure or Raheem Sterling from the City ranks.

The conspiracy theorists among us (and I am one of those) are suggesting it is just a way for Melbourne City to get around the A-League's transfer regulations.

A-League clubs are not permitted to pay each other fees when players move on, but after being "signed" by Manchester City, Caceres has immediately been loaned out to Melbourne City.

The fact that the Melbourne club is owned by City Football Group, which also owns New York City in the United States' Major Soccer League, has rung a few bells among rival coaches, and I am sure a few fans are wondering, especially those at Central Coast, just how a promising young player such as Caceres can move clubs in this manner.

Manchester City, it seems, is free to loan Caceres to whom ever it wants after paying a transfer fee.

But even if it does fall within the rules of the competition, it just doesn't sit right with me.

When CFG purchased Melbourne Heart I thought the idea was to help the club progress and allow players to possibly make a move to Manchester City because of the links between the clubs.

I certainly did not think it would just a way of CFG "buying" a title for the Australian outfit.

After the Caceres move, I believe that is what is happening and I can see why other coaches such as Brisbane Roar's John Aloisi and Melbourne Victory's Kevin Muscat have raised concerns.

Muscat said: "If it's within the rules, it's within the rules. Maybe they need to be looked at."

Aloisi agreed, saying: "It's something that all the clubs will discuss and see if it's the right thing.

"If it's within the rules they've got every right to do what they feel they have to do to have the best side possible."

It seems no rules have been broken with the Caceres loan, which means not much can be done, but what is not right is that Melbourne City at this present moment is the only club which is able to make this sort of transaction because of its connections.

This cannot be fair on the other clubs and is certainly something that should be looked at by Football Federation Australia.



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