After Manchester City came back from behind twice to draw 2-2 with Liverpool on Sunday, Roberto Mancini has confirmed that the club must buy new players before the end of the transfer window to retain their Premier League title. The Etihad Stadium side are starting to feel the brunt of Fifa’s upcoming Financial Fair Play regulations, with the addition of Jack Rodwell the only signing of note this summer. That said, given Mancini’s comments at Anfield the defensive midfielder may not be the only new face.
“We need to bring players in and we have five days in which to do it,” the Italian coach told reporters after the game.
“We have to work very hard in these four or five days. It will be a long week for us. We have our targets and we will go for them in the next five days. How many? Ten, 15? [Daniel] Agger was never our target. [Scott] Sinclair, maybe. We have five days.”
Given the indulgences of City’s owners over the last number of seasons, the purse strings are starting to be tightened given the upcoming rules and regulations from the game’s governing body. Speculation in the tabloids has stated that Mancini is so incensed by the lack of transfer activity by the Premier League champions that he is considering walking away from the club, but this seems unlikely.
The Citizens have recouped transfer fees and shortened their wage bill with the sales of Emmanuel Adebayor and Adam Johnson so far during the window, with others such as Roque Santa Cruz, John Guidetti and potentially even Kolo Toure up for grabs.
From a buying perspective Scott Sinclair’s move from Swansea appears to be a formality, with the Team GB winger likely to wrap up a move to Mancini’s men in the next 48 hours as a cost-effective replacement for the uninterested Johnson. Given the strength of City’s squad it is difficult to see weaknesses, but centre-half is an area where Mancini is thought to be eager to strengthen. Despite the trainer’s comments a move for Daniel Agger is said to have be rebuffed by Liverpool, whilst his Reds team-mate Martin Skrtel was also reportedly in the crosshairs.
Versatile defensive midfielders are also the order of the day, with Daniele De Rossi being high on Mancini’s wishlist, but the Italian battler has pledged his future to Roma. Athletic Bilbao’s Javi Martinez has also been consistently linked as a target, whilst Benfica’s Javi Garcia is a name now being mentioned too.
It appears that the versatility of Martinez and De Rossi of playing both in defence and midfield has attracted the gaze of the City boss, who deployed a back three for the last 30 minutes of the draw on Merseyside. However, with Mancini on the war path expect at least one new signing, more than likely a defensive player, to be made by the Premier League champions before the window closes.