Brian Kidd claims Premier League title is 'Manchester United's to lose'

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The Independent Football

Brian Kidd believes the Premier League title is now "Manchester United's to lose" although he has confirmed Manchester City will explore every avenue in their search for an advantage.

It does appear the first road City will go down is the one to Edin Dzeko.

Mancini is a long-time fan of the big Bosnian, who impressed in the Champions League for Wolfsburg last season and has been viewed as one of the Italian's prime transfer targets.

There have been plenty of reports claiming that a fee has been agreed for Dzeko and negotiations over personal terms are well on their way to reaching a positive conclusion.

However, with the transfer window two days away from opening and a tricky encounter with Blackpool to fulfil, City are in no mood to confirm Dzeko's impending arrival.

"I don't think it's right to speak about other players at other clubs," said Kidd.

"Only one man will decide - and that's the boss.

"If he feels he can improve the squad and there's a player available he will definitely explore that."

The arrival of Dzeko would presumably come at the expense of Emmanuel Adebayor, who is set to end his unhappy stay at City in January.

Although it is Mancini's preference to play one man up front - usually skipper Carlos Tevez but Mario Balotelli scored a hat-trick in the role against Aston Villa on Tuesday - the 24-year-old would be a very useful battering ram, providing the Blues with a different option in a squad Kidd already feels is the best.

"I wouldn't swap our squad for anyone else's," he said.

"The lads have done terrifically well.

"It has always been a top four place that we were aiming for and we are doing OK on that.

"But nobody is getting carried away and we know there is a lot of hard work to come."

Having been part of title-winning outfits as Sir Alex Ferguson's number two at Manchester United, Kidd realises it takes more than pure ability to collect the major prizes.

Handling pressure is also a crucial factor, which is presumably why City's backroom staff are so keen to take it away from their club.

For as long as it was plausible, Mancini dismissed his own side's chances of glory by claiming Chelsea would finish top "easily".

That statement is clearly bankrupt, so Kidd is pointing to his own club who have destiny at their doorstep.

"It's obviously Manchester United's to lose now," he said.

"It is in their hands. You can't get away from that fact.

"They have been round the block and know how to win league titles.

"Their work is not done in January. Everyone gets kidded that they hit form about now but but they start with their preparation in July and go on from that."

Mancini intends to freshen up his side once more after collecting maximum points from the first two games of a four-match programme that ends with a significant trip to Arsenal next Wednesday.

Kolo Toure is expected to return, although with Jerome Boateng, Aleksandar Kolarov and Tevez as City look to become the first team to complete a league double over Ian Holloway's surprise packages.