New look on the wings for Roberto
- Fri 08 Jul 2011, 8:32AM
- Posted by Peter Ferguson
City were already flying high - but the unveiling of a special sky blue plane is the sort of fun story that has reporters and sub-editors rubbing their hands in glee.
Even more so when they get the tail, sorry, tale to themselves, as the Manchester Evening News does today after the story went on your club website at the eminently reasonable hour of 3am.
Reporter Alice McKeegan's exclusive (er, see above sentence) is headlined "The air turns Blue as jetset City get their own plane". Now fasten your seatbelts and read on ...
She writes: "City have joined football's jet set – with their own plane kitted out in club colours.
"The Blue Moon Rising jet, owned by sponsors Etihad Airways, touched down just after 3pm – and it was greeted by some of City's star players who were given a quick tour.
"A team of 40 painters worked around the clock for 18 days in Abu Dhabi to paint the A330-200 in City colours. A staggering 450 litres of paint were required to complete the job.
"Airline chiefs said the plane would take their sponsorship with City to new heights and it would also mark the commencement of double daily flights between Manchester and Abu Dhabi next month.
"City fans will get to follow in the footsteps of their heroes because when the plane is not transporting the players, it will be in normal service – meaning United fans flying out of Manchester may have to make the journey on the Blue jet."
Four hundred and fifty litres of paint? Sounds like enough to do the Stadium - and yes, that's a shameless segue into the speculation that the Club is about to announce a naming rights deal.
All will be revealed elsewhere on the site - we don't break stories here at WTMS, no little yellow ticker running across the bottom, see? - but most papers are predicting an imminent announcement.
Everyone likes to take a shot at the figure involved too. Most are educated and informed guesses, but we're guessing that Irish site breakingnews.ie are a bit optimistic with their £1billion.
They add: "The clubs are likely to agree a fee of around £3.5 million for the 35-year-old stopper, who is set to replace Brad Friedel as the claret and blues’ No.1.
"Villa are also confident of Given accepting their personal terms, even though his City wages are expected to be cut.
"McLeish and chairman Randy Lerner have been in contact with their Eastlands counterparts and hope to conclude the transfer within the next week."