Monday 11 December 2017

Pellegrini: City need to sign 'big players' every two years

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini
Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini

Luke Edwards

Manuel Pellegrini has demanded Manchester City sign more truly world-class, game-changing players in the summer as he looks for a convincing excuse for what looks destined to become a barren season.

City face Crystal Palace tonight trailing Premier League leaders Chelsea by nine points, and Pellegrini may well pay the price for failing to win a trophy in his second season as manager by losing his job.

That decision is yet to be taken and it should not be forgotten the Chilean won two trophies - the Premier League and the League Cup - in his first season.

Pellegrini has become increasingly terse when questioned about City's stuttering season, but he conceded they needed to sign a different type of player in the summer if they were going to compete for top honours, both at home and abroad.

"It is just the way of thinking - big teams need to sign a big player," said Pellegrini. "It is very difficult to do it every year, but every two years you must do it.

"I'm not just talking about Manchester City. You see Real Madrid, Manchester United, Chelsea, Barcelona and Bayern Munich - all the big clubs. All do it. It is important to have big names."


Pellegrini is unwilling to discuss transfer targets until he knows whether or not he is going to remain in charge of the team beyond the end of the season.

"I repeat, I don't want to talk about (plans) for next season because we have to finish this season," he said. "It is very important the way we finish this season before we analyse all the players. So, it is not the right moment to talk about it."

Pellegrini warned his players that they must overcome a difficult obstacle at Palace if they are to avoid losing yet more ground to their rivals.

Fading champions City had to watch in frustration on Saturday, not only as Chelsea extended their lead at the top of the table, but as Arsenal and Manchester United shunted them down to fourth.

Slipping to such a position was not in the script when City drew level with Chelsea on New Year's Day, and any further slips would increase the pressure on Pellegrini significantly.

But Pellegrini knows the Eagles have become a tough proposition under Alan Pardew, declaring: "They are in a good moment and are playing with a lot of trust."

City have a clean bill of health but Palace must plan without strikers Marouane Chamakh and Fraizer Campbell, midfielder Jordon Mutch and suspended skipper Mile Jedinak. (© Daily Telegraph, London.)

Crystal Palace v Man City

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