City still want Balotelli and Milner
Roberto Mancini has confirmed Manchester City are still hopeful of luring Mario Balotelli and James Milner to Eastlands this summer.
The City chief has also revealed that he is planning talks with Robinho before deciding the Brazilian’s future.
Robinho has been on loan with Santos since January and has recently made comments which suggest he would prefer to remain in Brazil.
It seems unlikely to happen given Santos could not muster anything like the club record £32.5million fee that brought him to City from Real Madrid two years ago.
However, once Brazil have tackled the United States in a friendly in New Jersey on Wednesday, Mancini will have a chat with the 26-year-old to decide what to do next.
"Robinho will stay in Brazil until the international game and then he will come back here because I need to speak with him," said Mancini.
"I worked with him for one month, then he decided to go back to Brazil. He said he wanted to stay at home so he could prepare to play for Brazil at the World Cup.
"There was no pressure from me but now I must speak with him because it is very difficult for him to stay at Santos."
Whether Robinho’s name could crop up in connection with Mancini’s attempts to sign Balotelli is open to question.
Mancini insists Inter Milan have not brought the issue up, although something needs to happen in order to break an impasse that has put the entire move in doubt.
"We are speaking with Inter Milan and we will try to get an agreement but Robinho has not been mentioned," he said.
"I am still hopeful. We have time but we will not pay too high a price."
A figure of £24million has been mentioned for 19-year-old Balotelli, who is said to be demanding huge wages as well.
Mancini suggested the attempt to get Milner was slightly nearer, although the Italian remained vague about the England star as well.
What he is more certain of is that after a summer that has again seen City become the biggest spenders in Europe, he does not share the view of Sir Alex Ferguson that there is no value in the transfer market.
Although Yaya Toure, Jerome Boateng, David Silva and Aleksandar Kolarov have cost City around £80million, Mancini considers it money well spent.
"In the past Manchester United have spent a lot of money on their players," he added. The same is also true of Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool.
"We have spent a lot of money on good, young players. I am happy about that.
"They are all top players but you also have to take into account that when Manchester City try to sign someone, the price is not normal.
"We want to improve and we want to improve quickly. For this reason we have to buy."
There is also pressure on to sell, if not from City’s mega-rich owners, then from disgruntled players who fear they will not even make Mancini’s 25-man squad.
Roque Santa Cruz, Craig Bellamy and Nedum Onuoha are just three of the names who have been linked with moves away from Eastlands.
Mancini intends to speak with Santa Cruz but an approach from Sunderland for Onuoha has already been rebuffed because the Black Cats were felt to be trying to sign the England Under-21 star on the cheap.
"Having so many players is not a problem yet because the matches haven’t started yet. After next Saturday it will become more difficult," Mancini added.
"From August 31 we can only have 25 players and at the moment I think we have 31. It is a problem."
One player going nowhere is Emmanuel Adebayor, who has been reported as stating his future lies in Italy, but Mancini insists the Togo striker is happy where he is.
"The things about Emmanuel are not true," said Mancini. "Absolutely not."