Wednesday 17 January 2018

Mancini laughs off Ronaldo links

Simon Stone

Roberto Mancini wants his Manchester City squad sorted by the time the new season starts.

City's attempts to secure a top-four spot this term were hampered by the delays in players returning from the World Cup and the protracted attempt to capture James Milner from Aston Villa.

Having overcome that handicap to secure a Champions League place and end City's 35-year trophy drought, Mancini is already turning his sights to next term.

And, by the time his players reassemble for pre-season training at the beginning of July, he wants all the business done. "I want to have all the players when we start the season, not afterwards," he said.

"Pre-season is really important.

"We had some problems this year because we didn't do a pre-season. All the players arrived after the World Cup, five days before the start of the Premier League."

Chairman Khaldoon al-Mubarak has suggested it will only take a couple of reinforcements to turn City into title contenders.

That number will not include Cristiano Ronaldo, judging by Mancini's reaction to stories suggesting he was about to shatter the £80m Real Madrid paid for the Portugal superstar two years ago.

"We have signed Cristiano Ronaldo for £200m," joked the Italian. "I said after the FA Cup final, I would like to sign Ronaldo, Messi, Fabregas and Iniesta. I don't think it is possible."

Mancini was more positive on the subject of Carlos Tevez's City future. As he looked ahead to tomorrow's trip to Bolton, Mancini was adamant Tevez is not about to make his final appearance for the club.

"I don't think it will be Carlos' last game," said Mancini."I have spoken with Carlos. I have spoken with him many times in the last weeks and I don't need to speak with him again."

Irish Independent

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