Thaksin, a deposed Thai premier, said he will bring the entire Thai squad to Manchester for 11 days next month and will foot the lion's share of the bill, Thailand's soccer president said on Tuesday.
"If we want to go to the World Cup, this is what we have to do," Worawi Makudi said, according to the online.
"Manchester City are keen to help us, they signed some of our players and they are happy to pay for our preparation."
Thailand, who have never reached the World Cup finals, have been drawn with Japan, Oman and Bahrain in the third round of Asian qualifiers.
Thaksin's critics say his $164 million takeover and his club's sudden interest in Thai players -- three of which they recently signed -- are attempts to maintain a high profile in soccer-mad Thailand with a view to returning to office.//the Guardian online