Mancini clashes with City’s Marwood over new players
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has re-opened his transfer feud with the club’s sporting director Brian Marwood.
Mancini has expressed his frustrations more than once this summer at the lack of new recruits. The anticipated arrival of Robin van Persie now seems certain not to happen, with Manchester United favourites to land the Arsenal striker, while other targets, including Daniel Agger and Daniele de Rossi have also failed to materialise.
It is fairly obvious City have the finances to fund any deal should they so require. But Marwood is having to juggle the demands of meeting Uefa’s financial fair play regulations.
That is already going to be difficult given the vast sums City have spent. But with high earners such as Emmanuel Adebayor proving hard to shift, Marwood will not sanction further outlay.
And though Mancini did his best to avoid the issue, just ten days from the start of the new Premier League campaign and ahead of tomorrow’s Community Shield clash with Chelsea, the Italian’s irritation got the better of him.
“I am not happy,” said Mancini, when asked whether he was content with the way City’s transfers were being done. “But I won’t say anything at the moment. For this you should talk to Brian Marwood, not me. I am not the sporting director. I can’t say anything about the players.
“After three months or four months I don’t know what to say about this situation.”
Though Mancini acknowledges his team deserve their status as Premier League champions, it is clear he feels further improvement is required.
“It is my opinion that we have a good team,” he said. “But we built this team two years ago and you need to continue to improve in every way.”
The frustrating thing for Mancini is that there has been interest in members of his squad that he does not want to lose, namely Mario Balotelli.
In the wake of his ridiculous red card at Arsenal in April, which seemed to have cost City any chance of the title, the club may have been tempted to cash in. Since then though, the 21-year-old redeemed himself by setting up Sergio Aguero’s last-gasp championship clincher. He then went on to become one of the stars of Euro 2012 as Italy reached the final.
“This summer, we had a lot of requests for him,” said Mancini. “Many important teams wanted him. This is a sign that he is a top player. I didn’t think about saying yes because he is young and we are sure he can improve and be an important player for the club.”
As Balotelli and David Silva only returned to training six days ago, they are unlikely to start against Chelsea at Villa Park tomorrow.
In addition, England duo Gareth Barry and Micah Richards have been ruled out with injuries. The good news for City is that skipper Vincent Kompany is expected to shrug off a calf complaint that forced him to fly home from his club’s Far East tour.
Chelsea, meanwhile, have the chance tomorrow to make a statement of intent and manager Roberto Di Matteo says his Champions League winners are hungry for more success.
“There’s plenty of trophies to win this season,” said Di Matteo. “We have a very driven team of players and they are never satisfied with what they’ve done in the past. It’s a fresh start for us. It won’t be a problem from that point of view. There are a couple of trophies our players have never won, and challenging for the Premier League, too.
“We finished sixth last season and I don’t think anybody is happy with that. We certainly have to do better.”
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