City boss Hughes expecting 'a number of changes'
Mark Hughes has confirmed there will be more new arrivals at Manchester City over the coming weeks - but he has stayed well clear of mentioning the 'R' word.
As the Blues hierarchy wait patiently to discover whether their attempts to sign Ronaldinho have been successful, Hughes is focused on expanding a squad he feels is a bit thin for the battles which lie ahead.
'I would imagine there will be a number of changes,' the Welshman told City's official website
'I can't say what they will be at this moment in time but, on initial viewings, the make-up of the squad and the cover we have in certain areas seems a little bit light.
'So, if there are good quality players out there that can improve what we already have in certain areas then we will be in the market for them.'
Clearly, Ronaldinho fits into that category judging by the £22million bid and £200,000-a-week salary City are reported to have offered for the former world footballer of the year.
After initially looking as though they had missed out on the 29-year-old, it now appears the Blues have moved into pole position.
Certainly, Barcelona president Joan Laporta thinks so.
'Ronaldinho has two interesting proposals, although they (Ronaldinho and his agent) are favouring the Manchester City offer more more,' Laporta told Catalunya Radio.
Barca then confirmed following a meeting with Ronaldinho and his representative at the Nou Camp yesterday that they had given the player until Thursday to sort out his future.
'The two sides agreed to allow two or three days to finalise the transfer of the player to one of the clubs which have shown an interest in signing him,' Barca said on their website.
Yet, owner Thaksin Shinawatra and other senior club officials are refusing to get their hopes up.
They are aware Ronaldinho's future will be the subject of extreme debate until he actually signs, and are quite prepared to wait until the August 31 transfer deadline, even though it has been suggested a deal could be done within 48 hours.
'Hopefully optimistic' was the response of one senior City source to developments as Hughes continues to get on with his own work.
It is the work of Hughes that will be analysed most intensely though, especially with the season-opening UEFA Cup qualifier against Faroe Island minnows EB/Streymur looming on Thursday.
In securing the services of popular skipper Richard Dunne, Hughes has eased some concerns and a training camp in Germany has reinforced the Welshman's belief that he already has a good squad to work with.
The chances are Hughes will land other, admittedly less eye-catching, transfer targets than Ronaldinho, ahead of the Barclays Premier League opener at Aston Villa on August 17.
Former Bolton defender Tal Ben Haim continues to be heavily linked with a move back to the north-west following an ill-fated season at Chelsea, while veteran Blackburn keeper Brad Friedel is another supposedly being trailed by Hughes.