Rafael Benitez has admitted that Manchester City are a threat to the status quo of the Premier League's big four and could cause high inflation in the transfer market.
For Benitez, the stunning capture of Robinho for a British record transfer fee
could have set in motion a chain of events that will blow the accepted 'big
four' wide open.
'You cannot just win the title by spending money but Chelsea won for two years
spending big, big money. Afterwards Manchester United won spending lots of money
too,' he said.
'If we are talking about spending money then maybe Manchester City will win
the title this year.
'It is not just a question of money but if you have more money it is easier.
If you don't have too much money, you must do the job as best you can.
'If we are talking now, maybe they (City) need time but if we talk in January
maybe they will buy five players...then you never know.
'But it is not just a question of 'I will invest more and I will win'. You
cannot guarantee anything.'
Benitez fears a hike in transfer fees involving English clubs as a result of City's cash bonanza as happened when Roman Abramovich took over Chelsea in 2003.
'Prices could rise,' said Benitez as he unveiled £8million signing Albert Riera, himself a former City player.
'That could be a problem. You cannot change these things but you try and get
the players you want as cheap as possible, even when prices go higher.'