Buffon issues City warning
Gianluigi Buffon has warned Man City not to expect to sign the world's top stars this summer.
By Ben Collins
Last Updated: 30/04/10 9:07am
Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has warned Manchester City not to expect to sign the world's top stars this summer.
The Blues lured Robinho from Real Madrid in September 2008 the day the Abu Dhabi United Group took over and City's wealthy owners set their sights on a host of other big-name signings.
The club failed in a bid to sign Ronaldinho earlier that summer before Kaka also turned down the Blues to join Real Madrid last year, meaning Carlos Tevez and Emmanuel Adebayor are the biggest signings so far.
City are set to splash the cash again this summer and have been linked with a move for Fernando Torres, particularly if they qualify for the UEFA Champions League at Liverpool's expense.
But although City have pushed themselves to the brink of joining Europe's elite for the first time in the Champions League, Buffon believes they will still struggle to attract the game's top talent.
"It doesn't surprise me that a lot of big players have turned down Manchester City," he told the Daily Express.
"The best players in the world want to be playing for the top teams in the top three leagues, no more than five or six teams in Europe.
"It's a very elite list and Manchester City have to accept the fact they are not one of them."
City were linked with a move for Buffon before signing Newcastle's Shay Given, who has performed superbly in the City goal this season.
And while the Italy international insists he is unaware if City made any enquiries for him, he claims he would not have been interested anyway.
"I read that City were interested in me last summer," Buffon added. "I don't know if anything was tabled, but there is no way I could have considered it.
"I couldn't justify leaving one of Europe's most famous clubs for a team that are not playing football at the highest level."
Juventus last won the Serie A title in 2003 and their last appearance in the Champions League quarter-finals was in 2006, but the Italian giants have to win two of their last three games to have any chance of qualifying for next season's competition.
City reached the Uefa Cup quarter-finals last season and are just one point behind Tottenham in the race for the Premier League's fourth place, with both having three games left.
"They (City) have signed some fantastic players," Buffon said.
"But if they want to go up to the next level and sign even better players then they must claim a Champions League spot this year."