City continue post-season debrief
Officials have been concerned about manager Roberto Mancini's approach since the Italian used the build-up to last week's final game at Bolton to urge further spending by owner Sheikh Mansour. In claiming this was the last transfer window City could spend without being hindered by UEFA's new financial fair play regulations, Mancini was going against stated club policy, in addition to pushing a falsehood. City staff do not know whether Mancini is conveniently ignoring the truth, or is actually oblivious. However, because the club's financial year ends on May 31, it is from this date that UEFA's new regulations, which limit the money a club is able to spend beyond their break-even figure to £39million a year for the next three seasons, kick in. After losing £121million in the 12 months to May 2010, the Blues already realise meeting UEFA's new regulations will be a tough task. Sheikh Mansour has vowed to try, though, which presents a major problem for Mancini. The Italian has only been at Eastlands 18 months but has already overseen the purchases of nine players at a total cost of £170million. Although his key signings, David Silva and Yaya Toure, have been unqualified successes, the jury is out on a number of others, including Mario Balotelli, whose latest indiscretion was to miss Monday's FA Cup parade without permission. In addition, there are another half-dozen - Emmanuel Adebayor, Craig Bellamy, Wayne Bridge, Roque Santa Cruz, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Shay Given - who apparently have no future with the club but remain on the Eastlands payroll at huge cost, whilst the highest earner of all, Carlos Tevez, is yet to commit himself to the club. This is why, whilst Mancini's argument is being depicted as a battle of wills between him, director of football Brian Marwood and chief executive Garry Cook, they actually go to the ethos with which the club is being run by chairman Khaldoon al-Mubarak. It is likely moves for a couple of summer targets will be sanctioned, including Udinese winger Alexis Sanchez. But after that the priority will be on getting players out before further signings can be made. Frustratingly for Mancini, it could turn out to be a slow process. In their blistering pursuit of a top-four place in the three years since Sheikh Mansour completed his City takeover, the club accepted they would need to pay a premium on player wages. It means that they must now find a way to offload those deemed surplus to requirements, without losing vast sums themselves. Even Tevez's departure cannot be guaranteed given he is the Premier League's highest paid player with wages well in excess of £200,000-a-week. Senior City officials were delighted with the manner Marwood arranged a succession of loan deals this season, when only the departure of Craig Bellamy to Cardiff was heavily subsidised. Actually completing transfers will be far harder and could be virtually impossible to conclude until pressure starts to mount on all clubs before the transfer window closes. Given's position is a case in point. Celtic are thought to be one of a lengthy list of clubs interested in the Republic of Ireland goalkeeper, but the 35-year-old has two years left on a contract thought to be worth £70,000-a-week, which over the remainder of the deal is £5million more than the Hoops give their highest earners. Bridging gaps like that will clearly not be easy, and should Mancini lose out on potential signings as a result he is bound to be annoyed. However, in a situation that if not entirely mirroring that of Tevez - whose advisor Kia Joorabchian has fallen out with Cook - does converge at a central point, Mancini might pull back from causing a real rumpus. For, even if purse strings are being pulled tighter, there are only a handful of clubs in the world that could even come close to competing with City's financial power given the grandiose plans the club's owners still have.