Manchester City have issued a red card to agents and intermediaries aiming to cash in on their vast new wealth in the January transfer window.

Manager Mark Hughes insists they will only deal directly with the clubs involved when they come to do business and no-one else. The Welshman is adamant Eastlands will not become a playground for those aiming to get rich quick.

"There is a lot of speculation about all manner of players. The problem we have is there a lot of people out there who are trying to jump into the middle of deals," he said. "They are trying to manufacture themselves. They are making assumptions on players we are supposedly interested in. They are trying to cover all avenues."

He added: "If we are going into the market we will deal with the clubs directly. We do not need intermediaries or anyone jumping into the middle trying to make a profit out of any business we are going to do.

"We can do any business we like on our own, thank you very much. We do not need any help from anybody. That's our message."

Real Madrid's highly-rated goalkeeper Iker Casillas has been touted as coming in to replace Joe Hart next month.

However Hughes has leapt to the defence of the former Shrewsbury shot-stopper, who kept a clean sheet in the draw against Paris St Germain in the UEFA Cup on Wednesday night.

"He did well. He needed to be strong and come to the fore near the end of the game and he did that," said the City boss. "Joe is an exceptionally gifted young goalkeeper.

"Irrespective of the speculation, who's coming, who's going, what you have to do as a player is get on with playing well and being part of what we are doing here. He is certainly doing that."

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Mark Hughes