Mancini wants deals done early

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 attempts 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 re-assemble

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. “To have all the players back when we

start pre-season on July 5 is important for us.” 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 former world player of the year Cristiano Ronaldo

judging by Mancini’s reaction to stories suggesting he was about to

shatter the £80million Real Madrid paid for the Portugal

superstar two years ago. “We have signed Cristiano Ronaldo for

£200million,” 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. “I don’t know why this has come out. I

don’t know anything about it. “Cristiano Ronaldo is a fantastic

player but I don’t think he will leave Real Madrid.” Some kind of

budget will be required, although Mancini was coy about exactly how

much is going to be needed. “I don’t know how much money we will

have to spend,” he said. “What is a lot? You could say

£10million, or £100million, £200million. “It depends

on the players we need and how much money the other club wants for

its players. “At this moment it is difficult to say.” It is equally

problematic trying to predict where Carlos Tevez’s future lies.

Mancini caught most observers on the hop immediately after

Tuesday’s Premier League win over Stoke when he claimed Tevez had

told him he wanted to remain with the Eastlands outfit. Within 24

hours, the picture had become more clouded, with Tevez’s

representatives privately claiming the striker had said nothing of

the sort. Even senior figures within the club wonder whether

Tevez’s trusted advisor Kia Joorabchian is trying to find an

alternative suitor, who would be willing to pay the vast transfer

fee and wages the South American would command. However, as he

looked ahead to Sunday’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. “On Tuesday, I

told you all my opinion and I am sure about this. But I can’t

continue to have a press conference to answer this question. “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.” And Mancini

is not entirely convinced about quotes emerging from Argentina,

attributed to Tevez, that the former West Ham star views his future

as being elsewhere. “I don’t know if he has said these things,” he

said. “Sometimes I have spoken to journalists in Italy and when the

comments come back here, it is something completely different. “I

understand it can happen because of the translation. “We have many

important players; Carlos, Yaya Toure, David Silva, James Milner,

Nigel de Jong. We want them all to stay here.”