Mancini is still keen on 30m De Rossi as City boss prepares for crucial week
21:51 GMT, 24 August 2012
Roberto Mancini admitted on Friday that the next seven days will shape Manchester City’s season and confirmed he has not given up on prising Daniele De Rossi away from Roma.
In a stance that will shift the spotlight once more on to football administrator Brian Marwood, Mancini insisted he needed ‘two or three’ more signings before next Friday’s transfer deadline to sustain a challenge in the Premier League and Champions League.
One of them may yet be Roma and Italy midfielder De Rossi, despite a public declaration earlier this week that he was staying put.
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Sportsmail revealed that was more an
attempt to allay public disquiet than any definitive statement on his
future, and Mancini appeared to echo the belief that Roma would be
hard-pressed to turn down a pre-deadline bid.
Asked if he was convinced by De
Rossi’s pledge, Mancini, who ruled out another approach for Liverpool
defender Daniel Agger and denied any interest in Inter Milan’s Maicon,
smiled and said: ‘I don’t know about this. It is difficult, but I don’t
know what can happen. From my experience, while the window is still
open, anything can still happen for every player.’
A 30million asking price could
still prove an obstacle to a deal going through, just as Athletic
Bilbao’s near-32m valuation of Javi Martinez looks like proving
prohibitive. Mancini is aware Bayern Munich’s pursuit of Martinez has
hit a snag over how the fee should be paid but fears the cost is ‘too
high for us’.
In demand: Roma star Daniele De Rossi in training this week
The City manager, who is close to
adding 23-year-old Swansea winger Scott Sinclair to 12m acquisition
Jack Rodwell, is still demanding action to guard against a repeat of
last season’s European woes.
‘If we are going to do something in the Champions League, we need to improve,’ said Mancini.
‘In the Premier League, you can make some mistakes and lose one game, or
one goal, but still have time to recover. In the Champions League, this
is not the case.
‘The reason I want to improve the squad now is because I want to improve for the Champions League.
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‘If we are to be competitive on both
fronts, we need maybe two or three more players. The Premier League and
Champions League are at the same level, then you have the FA Cup and
‘When you think of that, and realise
that in January we will lose Yaya and Kolo Toure and Abdul Razak to the
Africa Cup of Nations, it is clear we could have a serious problem.’
With Sergio Aguero out injured, Mario
Balotelli is in line to reclaim a starting place against Liverpool on
Sunday. Mancini despaired at the way Balotelli picked up two yellow
cards in quick succession at Anfield last season and admitted he is
still unsure what to expect from his maverick striker.
Breaking into a broad smile, after
being asked if he noticed a new maturity about the Italy striker at this
summer’s European Championship, Mancini said: 'Mario is the same. The
Euros may have helped him improve his ways, but I don’t think he can
change too much in one month.'