Hughes hits back at Ferguson

MANCHESTER: Man City manager Mark Hughes has refuted claims from Sir Alex Ferguson that City have bloated transfer prices this season.

According to The Sun, the Manchester United manager has accused City of inflating the values of players into 'ridiculous' numbers.

Hughes has set the tone for this summer after City signed Roque Santa Cruz (£18m), Gareth Barry (£12m) as well as Carlo Tevez to bring their total spending to £144m since the Abu Dhabi takeover last season.

Now Hughes has hit back at Alex Ferguson for claiming Manchester City have inflated transfer prices. The Welshman has even claimed that his £26.5million capture of Tevez was a bargain.

Hughes also said that if any fee was inflated this summer it was the world-record £80m United received from Real Madrid for Cristiano Ronaldo.

He said: "I think in this current age, and given some of the other transfers this summer, notably Ronaldo to Real Madrid, Carlos will prove a bargain."

According to Hughes, City will have to spend big in order to be 'successful' and catch up with the 'Top Four'.

The City manager said: "All the squads and managers have spent large amounts to be successful. That has never changed. We are trying to be successful and, to do that, we have to spend money.

"We understand how people may view us at this time, when times are hard financially for a lot of people.

"But football sometimes bucks that trend, almost always, certainly at the top level.

"We're in the business of trying to make our club better and we must spend significant amounts of money to get significant players."

United have bust the British transfer record three times since 2001 on Juan Sebastian Veron (£28.1m), Rio Ferdinand (£29.1m) and Wayne Rooney (£30m).

They have done that with the benefit of Champions League money, which is the main cause of the gap between the Premier League's top four and the rest.

Hughes said: "We haven't had the benefit of Champions League money over a long period of time.

"And we haven't had the success to generate large amounts of money you need to build a squad that is capable of winning trophies.

"We're trying to do the best for our club. We have no view on what it is doing to the market for other clubs.

"To get good players here, we're going to have to spend money, that's the top and bottom of it."

After the capture of Tevez, City are also thought to be eyeing the signatures of Arsenal striker Emmanuel Adebayor and Chelsea captain John Terry.