Next signing will be French - Keegan
By Graeme Bailey
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Keegan, who recently gave a trial to Marseille's Djamel Belmadi and was linked with Shabani Nonda of Monaco and Nantes' Sylvain Armand, admits that France is where he is looking for new signings.
Marc-Vivien Foe, Lucien Mettomo, Sylvain Distin, Ali Bernabia and Nicolas Anelka have already crossed the channel to link with Keegan at City and now The Citizens are ready to recruit from there again.
The latest name mentioned in the French press is Bordeaux's David Sommeil - the highly rated stopper can play in the centre or at left back.
Keegan admits that he is scouring France for his next move in the transfer market.
"We have been linked with so many players," said Keegan.
"We, like every other club, are looking and a lot of those targets are in France, so people are putting two and two together and sometimes coming up with eight.
"There can't be much of an auction carried out in public now because you have to have money to have an auction. So I think the transfers will now come down to the club that can get the right deal.
"In other words a loan with a view to buy, or money down over a period of three or four years if the player is an expensive one by today's standards.
"We have not even looked at the English market and when anyone has phoned up we have just told them there is no point talking. That's because you have to put half the fee down and pay the rest within the year.
"That would mean we would probably struggle to sign a quality player. The clubs aren't pricing themselves out of the market but the rules are. We would not have Nicolas Anelka here if we were not paying for him over six years.
"If we had been buying him from Liverpool, well we couldn't have because we could not have done the deal. Those rules were brought in years ago to make sure clubs didn't renege on paying now it is having an adverse effect on the game. The money is going out of England and mainly into France."
Keegan highlights the fact that English lower-league clubs are demanding too much money for their youngsters and that is why Premiership clubs look abroad.
"You can go and buy a top class French player who is in his mid-twenties who has a proven record from a big club which perhaps might even have been playing in Europe for £1.5m." he continued.
"Then go and ask a Second or Third Division club for a young striker and they want £2m, so those clubs and the rules are pricing themselves out of the market.
"Young Bobby Zamora at Brighton, for instance, has been talked about for a couple of years so has young Ellington at Wigan.
"You have to gauge whether they can do it in The Premiership whereas you more or less know that if a player is coming from the French League from a big club that they have got that quality and experience.
"So on all counts, not just the financial side, you are lessening the risk. The gamble of course is how quickly they will settle and in some cases learn the language."