Before he was given his marching orders from the Etihad Stadium, Roberto Mancini said he wanted Manchester City to be quicker off the mark during this summer's transfer window.
Like the proverbial faeces off a shovel, City have done exactly that, making manoeuvres on the market even before Mancini himself has been replaced. June is still in its infancy yet the 2012 Premier League champions have already secured the signature of Fernandinho. Flying winger Jesus Navas is set to soon follow, after his club Sevilla earlier in the week said an agreement was in place. Meanwhile, Manchester United are yet to blink.
Brazilian midfielder Fernandinho put pen to paper for somewhere between £30 million and £34m, depending on which reports you believe - no small amount for a 28-year-old, had he been signing for any other club.
Yet this is Manchester City, and that fee is but a mere drop in the oily ocean for them. Such is the Eastlands club's financial clout, no expenditure, no matter how large, can be considered a genuine risk. Not like at other clubs, where a £30m-plus failure can have potentially grave implications. At City, if it doesn't work out, a dud player is simply replaced with another flourish of the pen in the owner's cheque book. The only thing they've lost out on is time.
But after a season without any silverware, that time factor is now crucial at the Etihad. Mancini paid the price for his one year of failure and while the incoming Manuel Pellegrini should expect to be given a decent period to build a successful team in his own mould, there is no guarantee he will afforded that luxury.
That is why Fernandinho's signing and the impending arrival of Navas - indeed anyone who is brought in this summer - have taken on greater importance. Even though Pellegrini hasn't directly overseen these first two deals, it is he who will be judged on their performances when all is said and done and the inquests are held this time next year.
At least City appear to have learnt their lessons from last year, when they were fatally slow to begin their transfer dealings, allowing Robin van Persie to sign for United. And we all know what happened next. This time around, ironically at Mancini's behest, they're ahead of the game and Pellegrini will hit the ground running when he arrives, as expected, next week.
It's all well and good bringing in numbers though - City did that 12 months ago with Jack Rodwell, Scott Sinclair, Maicon, Richard Wright, Javi Garcia and Matija Nastasic all joining and only the latter really making an impression on the first team - quality is needed too.
Is Fernandihno the kind of player who can give City the edge they so crave over United? Of course, only time will tell how he will adapt to the Premier League, his new team-mates and a new life in England, but in terms of potential, he is.
We caught a glimpse of that with a powerhouse display against Chelsea in last season's Champions League. This was not the Ukrainian league, nor was the team they were playing Karpaty Lviv. This was the pinnacle of club football against the defending European champions. Yet he still dominated the contest, scoring the winner with a neat snapshot of his game: strongly winning the ball in midfield, powering forward with pace and finishing with aplomb.
Capped five times by Brazil and hugely experienced at club level with numerous domestic titles to his name, he certainly has the credentials on paper to be a success at City, maybe even prove to be the decisive factor in a title race. Add into the mix the electrifying Navas and City have already signalled their intentions loud and clear. And there will be more to come as the summer progresses.
United will, of course, respond. So too will Jose Mourinho and Chelsea. But for the time being at least, City appear to have learnt their lessons and stolen an early march on their nearest rivals.
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FOREIGN VIEW: City's decisive moves in the transfer market have been matched by Shakhtar Donetsk, who reacted quickly to Fernandinho's departure by snapping up Wellington. The attacking midfielder was named the best newcomer in Brazil in 2011 after a loan stint at Figueirense.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: "When it comes to the rules, tactics and strategies we define, I am extremely satisfied with the whole group's response. I am extremely satisfied with the assimilation and interpretation of my ideas." - Portugal coach Paulo Bento refutes Jose Mourinho's claim that Cristiano Ronaldo doesn't take criticism too well.
COMING UP: It's an important evening of World Cup qualifying action, with both Scotland and the Republic of Ireland playing - we'll have live coverage of what promises to be a busy night of football. Before that, your favourite gossip-mongering cyborg Eurobot will bring you the day's transfer news, while we've also got live commentary on the French Open men's semi-finals and both F1 free practices in Canada.