The top four have no need to spend

Trevor Steven
MARK HUGHES&rsquo; declaration that Manchester City have squeezed three years&rsquo; worth of dealing in two transfer windows fails to represent what has been a quieter-than-usual transfer window as far as the big clubs are concerned.<br /><br />City&rsquo;s spending accounted for &pound;120m of the &pound;460m total of the Premier League total spending &ndash; and even that was &pound;40m down on the previous year.<br /><br />That, to me, shows just how hard it is for the big clubs to spend money these days. The likes of Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal will be looking at their squad and thinking &lsquo;who out there is better than we already have&rsquo; and unless you want to spend a &pound;100m on a Lionel Messi, the answer is very few.<br /><br />City&rsquo;s big money spending and enormous salaries brings into question Michel Platini&rsquo;s comments about clubs being run as a proper business. For me, though, it&rsquo;s far more ridiculous to see a club like Notts County, in League Two, spending &pound;40,000 on Sol Campbell than it is for City to give six-figure sums to the likes of Joleon Lescott and Emmanuel Adebayor.<br /><br />Of the top four clubs, Chelsea will be the most comfortable, having made an almost effortless transition from Guus Hiddink to Carlo Ancelotti.<br /><br />The Blues are flying at the moment and the fact that key players like Drogba, Terry, Lampard and now Ashley Cole are signing new deals, shows just where Chelsea are as a club right now and delivers a major statement of intent.