x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Roberto Mancini keen to add more to Man City strike force

A top squad needs four good strikers, says the Manchester City manager, who also plans to recruit more midfielders for the English Premier League side.

Samuel Eto’o, the inter Milan striker, at age 30, is three years older than Carlos Tevez.
Samuel Eto’o, the inter Milan striker, at age 30, is three years older than Carlos Tevez.

Roberto Mancini, the Manchester City manager, is pushing the club to invest heavily in the transfer market despite spending a club record £35 million (Dh210m) on Sergio Aguero last week.

Mancini does not regard the Argentina international as a replacement for Carlos Tevez, and wants an additional elite striker to replace last season's captain and leading scorer if he is sold to the Italian Serie A club Inter Milan.

"If we want to compete with all the other top teams in the Champions League we need other players," Mancini said. "Carlos is an important player for us but I don't know what can happen.

"A top squad needs to have four good strikers because this season we will play in the Champions League, FA Cup, Carling Cup and the Premier League.

"We need to have four strikers and at the moment we do. If Carlos stays, I'm happy."

The Italian manager would like City to sign Samuel Eto'o, who is eager to improve his net salary by leaving Inter and is hopeful a swap deal can be arranged over Tevez.

While recognising Eto'o's qualities, City's board consider the Cameroon international an unaffordable luxury because, at 30 years of age, he would have limited resale value.

Inter have yet to make a formal offer for Tevez though talks are expected over the next few days with the teams stationed in the same Dublin hotel for a pre-season tournament in Ireland.

City were prepared to sell Tevez to Brazilian club Corinthians for an initial £35m earlier this month before the Brazilian club pulled out of the deal, and remain open to granting the Argentine's request to leave the club.

City will, however, raise their asking price if Inter bid, arguing that a major European club should pay up to £44m for the 27 year old.

Tevez, who is due back for club training on Thursday, has already met Marco Branca, the Inter sporting director, and discussed a switch.

His representative, Kia Joorabchian, flew to Milan on Thursday for further talks.

Inter are attempting to rationalise their expenditure to comply with Uefa Financial Fair Play regulations and are reluctant to meet City's price for the forward.

Their ability to pay Tevez's salary may, though, be eased by Russian interest in Eto'o, with Anzhi Makhachkala proposing to drastically increase the African's wages were he to move to Eastern Europe.

Regardless of the resolution on Tevez, Mancini wants City to add further strength in midfield and on the wings.

Mancini has a long-standing admiration for Samir Nasri, although Arsene Wenger has so far managed to prevent the Arsenal board from selling the France international midfielder.

Mancini's response has been to inquire about Roma's Italy midfielder Daniele De Rossi's interest in moving to the Premier League.

Mancini is also working on an offer for Alessio Cerci, an Italy Under 21 international winger. Fiorentina are asking £5.25m for the 24 year old.

The approach has surprised those in the Italian game - while blessed with a fine left foot, Cerci has a reputation as a serial troublemaker.

Neil Lennon, the manager of Celtic, hopes to speak to Manchester City, when the two clubs compete in the Dublin Super Cup this weekend, over the availability of striker Craig Bellamy, but admits money may be a stumbling block.

Lennon told the Daily Telegraph: "There is interest, but it is dictated to by finances. I hope to catch up with [City] while they are here and see if we can take it from there."