Mancini: we need 24 top players next term


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The Manchester City manager, Roberto Mancini, exposed the gulf in thinking between himself and his club's board yesterday when he insisted that this summer offers the chance for a last major spend before Uefa Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules kick in.

Though the club's chairman Khaldon al-Mubarak said on Wednesday that FFP was integral to City's strategy and that "a couple" of players could be expected, Mancini said that his conversations with the chairman told him something different. "I read that people said we can spend the money [this summer] but I don't know," Mancini said he would need a strong 11 players to operate in the Champions League and another group for league action three days later. "It's really difficult if you don't have 23 or 24 good players," he said. When City football administrator Brian Marwood's observation that there would be only "tinkering" to the squad this summer was put to Mancini (right) – a word he asked journalists be translated – he shook his head. "I don't understand this word," he said.

There is bafflement among Carlos Tevez's representatives as to how an interview with Argentina's Radio del Plata could have been rewritten in an English press report yesterday to say that he has made up his mind to leave City. Tevez is set to discuss his future with his family next week and then the club.