City still want Balotelli and Milner

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.”