City to lose Toure brothers

Mancini has often spoken of his concern at how his side would cope

without Kolo and, in particular, Yaya, who are required for the

Ivory Coast’s African Nations Cup campaign. Initially, the City

chief expressed the hope that their departure could be delayed

until after the Premier League encounter with Wigan at the DW

Stadium on January 16. That now appears unlikely, with the pair now

also set to miss the Carling Cup semi-final first-leg against

Liverpool on January 11. “It is difficult but I think they will

leave us after United,” said Mancini. “We have talked with their

manager three days ago and will talk again with the Ivory Coast

president. “We will try but it is difficult.” Instead, there is the

potential for bringing in additional reinforcements. Cash is

available for transfers but with UEFA’s Financial Fair Play demands

to be met, Mancini knows he will have to sell before he can buy.

“We should sell some of our players before we do anything,” he

said. “After that maybe we can do something but at the moment there

is nothing.” Meanwhile, senior City officials met their AC Milan

counterparts on Thursday afternoon in a bid to establish some

common ground over the transfer of Carlos Tevez. The Serie A giants

are keen for Tevez to join them but want that initial deal to be a

loan, with a commitment to buy at the end of the season. However,

City have made it clear they are not interested and would only be

willing to do business over a straight transfer. Acting Blues chief

executive John MacBeath led the City delegation and was accompanied

by football administration officer Brian Marwood at the talks,

which took place in London. City offered no guidance as to how the

discussions had gone but it is believed the respective positions

remain the same. Tevez is currently at home in Argentina and has

been pictured playing golf on a number of occasions. He has not

played for the Blues since falling out with Roberto Mancini over

his non-appearance in the Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich

in September. Tevez was subsequently fined for his conduct but then

left Manchester and has not been back.