Manchester City hope to have a new striker in place by the end of this month, manager Manuel Pellegrini said on Sunday after his side lost 2-0 to South Africa’s SuperSport United in his first match in charge.
Last season’s Premier League runners-up want a replacement for Argentina forward Carlos Tevez who has joined Juventus and their performance in Pretoria in the first of two matches in South Africa highlighted the need for attacking reinforcements.
“We are aware that we need two or three more players,” Chilean Pellegrini told a news conference after the defeat in the friendly at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria.
“It’s important to have a very good squad. I said before we came to South Africa that we need two players for each position and that’s what we are looking for and I’m sure we will get them.
“It’s difficult to say exactly which day but before the end of the month we will have a new attacker.”
City, who finished 11 points behind Premier League champions Manchester United last term, have already bolstered their squad with the signings of Brazil midfielder Fernandinho and Spain winger Jesus Navas but they still have more shopping to do.
“We are working hard on new acquisitions before the start of the new season but we are not in an immediate hurry to bring them on board,” said Pellegrini, who joined the club last month after the sacking of Roberto Mancini.
Yesterday’s match came less than a week after City’s players reported back from their summer holidays, with Pellegrini fielding two different sides in each half.
Fernandinho was given a starting berth at Loftus Versfeld and the tourists looked strong in the first half, but could not find the breakthrough.
Pellegrini changed the entire XI at half-time, and the hosts needed only 11 minutes after the restart to break the deadlock.
Senegalese striker Mame Niang rose highest to nod the opener past Costel Pantilimon in the 56th minute, with a neat finish from South African forward Kermit Erasmus sealing matters nine minutes from time.
There was further disappointment to come for the Barclays Premier League runners-up, when Ivory Coast midfielder Yaya Toure limped off in the 83rd minute.
The English club play a second game in South Africa on Thursday, against Amazulu in Durban, before heading to Hong Kong for a four-team tournament as they continue their build-up to the start of the Premier League season in mid-August.
Arsenal enjoyed a much more successful start to their tour of the Far East, hammering an Indonesia All Stars XI 7-0 in Jakarta.
England forward Theo Walcott slammed home the opener after 19 minutes, before the floodgates opened after the interval.
Chuba Akpom slotted home nine minutes after the restart and Olivier Giroud’s quickfire brace had stretched the Gunners’ advantage to 4-0 by the 73rd minute.
Lukas Podolski, Kristoffer Olsson and Thomas Eisfeld added their names to the scoresheet in the final eight minutes to seal the rout.
In other friendlies, James McCarthy was on the scoresheet as Wigan Atheltic beat MLS side Columbus Crew 2-1