Mancini keen to resolve Robinho future

MANCHESTER - Manchester City will try to sort out Robinho's future, conclude the signings of Mario Balotelli and James Milner and probably see half a dozen players leave in the next few weeks, said manager Roberto Mancini.

The Italian, who has almost unlimited funds available thanks to the backing of the club's billionaire owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al-Nahyan of Abu Dhabi, added that his first priority was to sort out the future of Brazilian striker Robinho.

The club's record 32 million pounds purchase from Real Madrid has endured an unhappy spell at City since he arrived in 2008 and said this week he would rather stay with Santos in Brazil where he has been on loan since January.

The situation is complicated because Santos do not have the sort of money needed to buy Robinho, and a possible scenario is that he will return to City and be used as a bargaining tool to smooth the transfer of forward Balotelli from Inter Milan.

"Robinho is in Brazil now until the international game (against the United States in New York) next week and after that I think he will come back here and I will speak with him," Mancini told a news conference at Eastlands on Friday.

"After he comes back here we will decide. He might be happier in Brazil but it might be difficult for him to stay at Santos. Anyway, I will talk to him."

He also said the club were actively pursuing Aston Villa's England midfielder Milner and Inter's 19-year-old Balotelli who was called up to the Italy squad for the first time on Friday.

"We have another 20 days until the end of the transfer market but now we are speaking with James Milner and Balotelli and I am hopeful we can sign them," he told reporters.


The stress of coping with the cash-rich club's new-found place in the spotlight did seem to be affecting Mancini as City paraded 80 million pounds of new signings.

Midfielder Yaya Toure, winger David Silva plus defenders Jerome Boateng and Aleksander Kolarov all faced the media.

Mancini said he felt under no pressure from the club's owners to bring City their first English title since 1968 despite the vast amount of money spent on new players.

"No, I start every season hoping to win, not to finish second or third, but there is no pressure on me," he said.

"We spend money on good young players, but probably when Manchester City want to buy players the price is high. It is not normal, but we want to improve and, for us, buying good players costs us more than normal."

Mancini also said he would have to carefully balance his squad because of new Premier League rules which limit squads to 25 players from this season.

"At the moment we have 30, 31 players, so some players will not be on the list and may have to leave. But it is not true that Emmanuel Adebayor is leaving. He is not going anywhere."

Toure, the 27-year-old Ivory Coast defensive midfielder, who has moved from Barcelona and joined his older brother Kolo at Eastlands said City will challenge for honours this season.

"We have the players who can do very well here. I have a lot of experience around Europe and there are a lot of very talented players. We are settling in well. It is very exciting," he said.

Silva, 24, who has joined from Valencia after helping Spain win the World Cup added: "It would be nice to play my part and do something important for Manchester City.

"We have come here to win titles. I know I am part of a great squad and a great group of players and we are all aiming in that direction."

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