Mancini frets as Man City look 'poor relations' of transfer market
21:47 GMT, 18 August 2012
Roberto Mancini's grand five-year plan
for Manchester City is in danger of hitting the buffers only weeks
after the Italian signed a 37million long-term contract with the club.
Mancini has not been fobbed off by
last weekend's 12m signing of youngster Jack Rodwell and wants three
ready-made first-team players before the end of the transfer window,
including Liverpool defender Daniel Agger and Roma's Italy midfielder
Daniele De Rossi.
City start the defence of their Premier
League crown against Southampton on Sunday, with Mancini still fretting
about the lack of his club's transfer activity compared to Manchester
United, who have captured Footballer of the Year Robin van Persie and
Japan midfielder Shinji Kagawa from the Bundesliga champions Borussia
Making his point: Roberto Mancini collared chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak during training on Saturday…
… Khaldoon tried to placate his manager during a lively and intense debate…
… and the pair parted on good terms, so could City be about to do some more business in the transfer market
Mancini has set himself the ambitious target of trying to match the biggest clubs in Europe, including Barcelona and Real Madrid, over the tenure of his contract.
But he is facing difficulties from within his own club, who are keen for FIFA's fair play regulations to work to prevent wealthy investors from Qatar, China and India from pumping money into other clubs as they have done with City.
City hope the appointment of new chief executive Ferran Soriano, a former Barcelona vice-president, will help smooth the relationship between Mancini and Brian Marwood, who controls City's transfer policy.
'I'm happy with Jack (Rodwell) because he is young and a really good player. But we need to have other players,' said Mancini.
'When the Champions League starts, we will be playing every three days for 10 months. This is not easy if we don't have players.
'We could also lose Yaya Toure when the Africa Cup of Nations is played in January.
'We will work hard to get players before the window closes in the next 10 days, but it will be difficult.'
New recruit: Mancini with Jack Rodwell
Mancini was offered a king's ransom to manage Russia but stayed loyal to City, an easy choice perhaps after the drama of winning the title with virtually the last kick of last season.
But he is not content to rest on his laurels. 'It is important to stay on top and fight for the title every year,' he said.
'But it won't be easy. Clubs like Real Madrid have 100 years of history winning trophies.'
Swansea City winger Scott Sinclair is another target and his arrival would allow Mancini to consider letting City's England international Adam Johnson go out on loan. Johnson has expressed frustration with not playing regularly at the Etihad and Mancini sympathises with his situation.
City kicked off last season by defeating a newly promoted Swansea City 4-0 and they will be expected to rack up a similar scoreline against Southampton today.
But Mancini doesn't see the season as a shootout between City and United.
'I think Chelsea will buy other players and also Arsenal will change after Van Persie. They have bought good players, and it's the same at Liverpool with a change of manager. They will be better than last year, and also Tottenham. I think it will be a fight with four or five other teams,' he said.
'After last season, I just hope we can maybe win the league with one game to spare!'
City hope Joe Hart has recovered from a back injury to face Southampton but Micah Richards and Gareth Barry are both ruled out. Rodwell remains the club's only signing of the window so far.