Concern over City’s transfer plans while rivals look to strengthen

Today the broadsheets report that Roberto Mancini has headed to Abu Dhabi to discuss the summer’s transfer targets, with the intention of asking for more to be spent. Also present will be Garry Cook and Brian Marwood, who are believed to favour culling a few players from the wage bill before making a couple of signings.

City’s plan was to splash the cash prior to Financial Fair Play on young, quality players that will set the squad up for the long term and only need tweaking from now on. An impoved supply line from the Academy would provide future talent.

That’s a great plan in theory, but in practice squads tend to need regular investment. Roman Abramovich found that out this season when his young players failed to fill the shoes of injured stars.

City’s problem is that too many of our expensive purchases have failed to deliver. Mancini has done brilliantly in securing third place, but whenever he tried to rotate the team to any extent, we struggled.

Therefore he’s right to argue that we need several quality players if we’re to push on in the Premier League while competing in the Champions League. The challenge of staying in the top four shouldn’t be underestimated when we look at the transfer plans of our rivals.

In contrast to City, they all seem clear about what they are going to do this Summer:

  • United have confirmed a goalkeeper in De Gea with Ashley Young and possibly Schneider being brought in as the long term replacements for Giggs and Scholes.
  • Chelsea are reported to be looking at bringing in five players – Neymar, van der Wiel, Lukaku, Kevin de Bruyne and a back-up goalkeeper. An expensive and impressive set of signings if they pull them off.
  • Liverpool are openly talking about bringing in a raft of players, in addition to Suarez and Carroll. That should see them pushing hard for a top four place next season.
  • For once Harry Redknapp is correct in thinking he only needs a couple of quality players to turn his side into contenders. A realiable goalkeeper and potent striker could have made all the difference to Spurs last season. Ben Foster could be between the sticks next season.
  • Even Arsene Wenger is speaking openly about Benzema, and confirmed he will be active in the market.

If City don’t add quality players this summer, then there is a danger of the ground we have claimed being retaken by Spurs and Liverpool.

Yet it’s the job of Cook to worry about conforming to Financial Fair Play, while it’s the job of Mancini to have the team challenging next season. It’s not hard to see how tension can appear.

Marwood appears to be on Cook’s side and may be less willing than Mancini to inform the owners that some signings haven’t worked out and more need to be made. However the gaps in City’s squad are apparent, and signings should be along these lines:

  • Wide player as an alternative to Adam Johnson. With Wright-Phillips set to leave, there’s a place in the squad. Alexis Sanchez or Juan Mata would be ideal.
  • Cover for de Jong. Whenever the dutchman is missing, City look laboured and vulnerable in midfield. A central midfielder is also required as an alternative to Barry, who too often struggles to shine.
  • A quality left-back. Kolarov has disappointed and we need someone other than the right-footed Zabaleta. Slighty concerning is talk of defensive reinforcement focussing on Gary Cahill. Boateng is primarily a centre-back and it would be preferable to see him get a run of games in his preferred position.
  • Cover for Joe Hart if Shay Given leaves.
  • Biggest of all would be a replacement for Tevez if he leaves.

There was a reassuring tweet from The M.E.N.’s James Robson earlier:

James Robson, Twitter:

mancini in abu dhabi talks – but manager and hierarchy not a million miles apart over money that needs to be spent to make #mcfc champions

It’s worth bearing in mind that Cook was watching Alexis Sanchez recently, and the Udinese attacker is a player who won’t come cheap. Hopefully the talks will be positive and the club will back Mancini while finding a way of conforming to Financial Fair Play.

Verdict: Bolton Wanderers 0 Manchester City 2
Transfer round-up – Sanchez, Cissokho, Cahill, Mata


  1. I tend to think the media has a way of overblowing things a bit. Yes, there probably is some disagreement between Mancini vs Cook/Marwood but I venture to guess it’s not as large as the media is making it out to be. The meeting between Mancini & the Abu Dhabi group was probably something that was scheduled months ago but is being made to seem like some kind of tribunal.

  2. Every year, just before the transfer window, one of our executives says we aren’t going to spend big this year.

    It’s just a bluff to try to keep prices down.

    We’ve got champions league money next season, and those world class players we occasionally go for will be more approachable.

    Unbelievably, aston villa want to take Wayne Bridge off our wage bill.

    Out of the hundreds of players we’ve bought, mancini now knows which ones are the core of the team, and which ones aren’t worth keeping.

    A year ago, Lescott, Richards and Zabaletta looked like they weren’t quite up to the grade, but now they’re looking good. I think Mark hughes just had a way of ruining good defenders.

    If Tevez goes, he’s got to be worth more than Torres.

    Buy a few top drawer stars, and sell some shirts
    Offload the high-earning dead-wood
    Rake in that champions league money
    Sell the naming rights to the stadium
    Bolt that money-generating super-casino onto the side of Eastlands.

    I think we’ll be set to meet the Financial fair-play rules.

    Its my understanding that we paid for many of our players outright in a lump-sum, rather than the usual installments.

  3. we should sell dead wood ! useless players !! high wages
    tevez-caicedo-Jo-Rsc-swp-onuoha-weiss-adebayor-bridge-bellamy-given-m.johnson(injured)-vieira(retired)/offer coaching position!! thats 13 players out of the wage bill
    this leaves :
    our team is 17players only!! however there is no youngsters..
    what we need is 4quality signings !! and 1 decent goalkeeper backup!!
    gk: Giles(free blackpool)
    defender: cahill
    centremid: sneijder
    winger: Sanchez
    striker: Aguero
    these signings will cost 100Mpounds
    but we will sell out players that will generate 100Mpound.
    for next season, kolarov will be given another chance to prove himself, dzeko will come gr8,yaya will play a defensive role, barry will feature once a week(rested),sneijder will set the tone,boateng will rotate with richards,lescott will fight for a place with cahill,zabaleta will be a backup for all the places in the team,dejong always a starter,milner will play alot more in the midfield,sanchez will compete with johnson and silva on both sides,aguero compete with balotelli, balotelli supersub!! and we are gonna win the league with these stars !!!!!!!!

  4. Kippax St Kid
    30 May 2011 - 4:44 pm

    Sweep, Adebayor, Bellamy, Jo, Given (and a few others to boot) will raise somewhere in the region of £40m and reduce the wage bill by a similar amount. If say 10 players were shipped out and replaced by 4 or 5 top quality signings, the wage bill would be similar to what it is now. The £40m raised by player sales might pay for 2 top players. The other 2 or 3 players could be paid for by the additional Champions League windfall.
    Then we start raking it in from the Super Casino. £200m a year enough?

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