Emmanuel Adebayor has agreed to take a pay cut to join Real Madrid on loan from Manchester City, with what the Spanish club describe as a “unilateral option” of a £15m transfer at the end of the season.
However, the Spanish club are unlikely to want to be tied to anything more than a six-month contract. The deal is a victory for the Real coach, José Mourinho, who has persisted in his pursuit of a new striker despite resistance from the board.
“Real Madrid and Manchester City have reached a deal that will see Emmanuel Adebayor play on loan,” said Real in a statement. “The player will remain at Real Madrid until the end of the current season, at which point the club hold a unilateral option to purchase the player.”
The Spaniards have turned to Adebayor after being unable to persuade Hamburg to allow Ruud van Nistelrooy to return to the Bernabéu to fill in for the Argentinian Gonzalo Higuaín, who is out for up to four months with a back injury. Madrid also looked at signing the Germany striker Miroslav Klose but Adebayor’s availability for the Champions League makes him a more attractive proposition.
Mourinho has little faith in Karim Benzema, Madrid’s only fit striker in recent weeks, and will look for a permanent No9 in the summer, with Athletic Bilbao’s Fernando Llorente their prime target.
Adebayor has become surplus to requirements at City this season, starting only two Premier League games, and falling behind Edin Dzeko, Carlos Tevez, Mario Balotelli and even Jô in the manager Roberto Mancini’s thinking. His relationship with Mancini has deteriorated to the point whereby Adebayor’s attitude in training had become a serious cause for concern behind the scenes at Eastlands and City will be happy to remove him from their payroll even at a time when there are concerns about Balotelli’s knee injury.
Adebayor’s desire to make the deal happen, meanwhile, can be gauged by the fact he has sacrificed part of his current salary, in the region of £150,000 a week, to ensure the finances involved were not prohibitive. The former Togo international, recently involved in a training-ground fight with Kolo Touré, has become a disenchanted figure over the last year but now has the chance to revive his career under Mourinho.
The only other interest within the Premier League emanated from Fulham and Adebayor will be grateful for the way Hamburg decided that it was “unthinkable” in the word of the club president Bernd Hoffmann, to allow the 34-year-old Van Nistelrooy to leave.
That decision has gone down badly with the former Manchester United forward and his agent, Rodger Linse, reacted angrily, saying: “A contract extension with Hamburg can now be ruled out. He [Van Nistelrooy] cannot understand it [why Hamburg did not let him go] and he has got a problem with it. It is very, very painful. It is sad because Hamburg have no idea what they are doing to Ruud with this decision.”