Even with a roster that includes world-class strikers Carlos Tevez, Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko, Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini still rues his side’s lack of fire power ahead of today’s Manchester Derby.
Mancini is adamant that last summer’s failed transfer targets are one of the main reasons why his club has been unable to produce goals. “One hundred per cent sure,” said the Italian manager when asked whether City would be in title contention but for the failure to bring in new blood. With a straight face Mancini also noted that, “[p]robably we would be on the top and could win the second title and probably we would be in the Champions League quarter-final. We had a chance to get three or four players who could improve our team but we didn’t in the end.”
One of the players Mancini rues missing out on is United striker Robin van Persie (pictured). After United came back to win last December’s Manchester Derby 3-2, Mancini admitted: “At this moment Robin van Persie is a very important player for United. It is clear he has changed their situation. He is the difference between us.”
True to form, Sir Alex Ferguson was quick to scrap Mancini’s take that if the Dutchman had landed at the Etihad last summer things would be different. “It’s hypothetical,” said Ferguson. “[Robin van Persie] was never going to City.” The United gaffer went on to praise the impact the former Arsenal striker has had at Old Trafford. “He’s been fantastic for us, a really good footballer. We needed a bit of maturity up front and he’s been terrific. The improvement is not just through Robin but even when he doesn’t score he’s a fantastic footballer.”
Using his favorite phrase, Mancini accepts that when it comes to last year’s transfer saga, “[n]ow it is finished.” Instead the 48 year old looks forward to this summer’s transfer window where he hopes that the arrivals of chief executive Ferran Soriano and director of football Txiki Begiristain will help set things straight.
Reports concerning City’s transfer interests are widespread and borderline ridiculous but nevertheless include Napoli’s Edinson Cavani, Celtic’s Victor Wanyama, Liverpool’s Luis Suarez, Santos’ Neymar, Atletico Madrid’s Radamel Falcao and Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo.
Until then Mancini will just have to suffer with Tevez, Aguero and Dzeko.