MANCHESTER City manager Roberto Mancini showed his lighter side before addressing some serious issues as he met media ahead of today’s visit by Aston Villa.
After sending David Platt to speak on his behalf before and after last Sunday’s defeat of Tottenham, the Italian joked with press by arriving for his latest briefing wearing a mask of his assistant.
It was the 47-year-old’s way of showing he had lost none of his sense of humour despite a couple of recent fiery exchanges with journalists. But the City manager was soon dealing with more weighty matters as he was asked about reports linking the club with Luis Suarez, last week’s omission of Mario Balotelli and Joe Hart’s form.
Mancini dismissed out of hand claims that City are lining up a bid in the region of £50 million for Liverpool’s in-form striker Suarez.
He even said the Barclays Premier League champions have no intention of adding to their squad at all when the transfer window opens in January.
Mancini said: “Firstly we have a good team and we don’t need to buy other players in January. Secondly, we can’t buy Suarez because we don’t need him and we have four strikers. Suarez is a top player but he plays for Liverpool.”
John Terry handed Chelsea another major fitness boost after manager Roberto Di Matteo revealed the defender would only be out for “approximately three weeks”
The European champions allayed fears their captain had suffered a serious knee injury in last Sunday’s Barclays Premier League draw with Liverpool when they confirmed on Monday he would be out for weeks rather than months.
And with Chelsea having further assessed Terry over the past four days, Di Matteo had even better news to report yesterday afternoon.
“With JT, we’re looking at approximately three weeks,” he said. “Fortunately, it’s not as bad as we first thought.”
A three-week absence would rule Terry out of the rest of Chelsea’s Champions League Group E campaign, starting with Tuesday’s crucialtrip to Juventus.
He would also miss vital league matches against West Brom, Manchester City, Fulham and West Ham.
He could return for the 8 December trip to Sunderland, the day before Chelsea are expected to travel to Japan for the Club World Cup.
Arsenal and Tottenham have issued a joint statement warning supporters that anti-social behaviour during today’s north London derby will not be tolerated.
The meeting between the bitter rivals always tends to be a heated affair on the pitch and in the stands.
Last year things boiled over at White Hart Lane when some Arsenal fans directed abuse at Emmanuel Adebayor while a section of the Tottenham support also chanted offensive songs at Arsene Wenger.
Both clubs have warned that any anti-social behaviour by either set of supporters in the lunchtime fixture at the Emirates Stadium will not be ignored.
Meanwhile, former Scotland goalkeeper Neil Sullivan has joined AFC Wimbledon on loan. The 42-year-old played for the original Wimbledon in the 1990s.