Manchester City admit interest in Johnson

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has admitted Adam Johnson is on his radar.

However, Mancini remains guarded about the prospect of recruiting the Middlesbrough midfielder before the transfer window closes on Monday.

Johnson is known to be keen on a move to Eastlands but it is understood the valuation remains a sticking point.

It is believed City have tabled a £5million bid for the player, who has scored 12 times this term and is out of contract at the end of the season.

Mancini said: "He is a good, young player but we have respect for him and the club. We will see (what happens)."

Mancini is tinkering with his squad and Benjani Mwaruwari could be set for a loan move to Sunderland to become the second striker to be released by the club in a matter of days should a deal be sealed.

Robinho clinched a loan move to Santos in his native Brazil yesterday following the Carling Cup semi-final defeat by Manchester United.

Even though Roque Santa Cruz remains absent with a calf injury, Mancini believes he has enough cover to cope.

On Benjani, Mancini said: "I spoke with him two days ago and he told me he had a possibility to go and play.

"We have a lot of strikers but he it is up to him to decide. If he wants to stay here I will be happy. He is a good player and a good man."

Mancini insists Robinho still has a future at the club.

The Italian boss said: "I spoke with him and said if you want to stay here I will be happy. But if you want to go to Brazil, you can go.

"He said 'Okay I will go back to Brazil for six months because the World Cup is coming'.

"But after the World Cup I think he can make it here. He will come back here because for me, he is a fantastic player and he has a good talent.

"He can go back to Brazil, stay with his family and play in every game for Santos. That is important to him and I understand that."

City are looking to bounce back from the heartbreaking Carling Cup defeat by neighbours United when they entertain Portsmouth on Sunday.

That loss to their local rivals threw the spotlight back on chief executive Garry Cook.

After winning the first leg he boasted to supporters in a New York bar the tie was as good as over and City would go on to become the biggest and best club in the world.

Cook was certainly wrong on the first count but the club have condemned a report claiming the owners will give serious thought to his position at the end of the season.

A City spokesperson said: "This is an isolated and ill-informed piece of speculation, which is completely without foundation."

While City have riches at their disposal, Portsmouth are at the opposite end of the scale with huge financial problems.

Mancini, however, is only concerned about getting back on track and staking a claim for a top-four place.

He said: "We think we are a strong team. Okay we lost to United but that is football. We played well.

"The important thing was that in two games we played at the same level as United. I am pleased with that. Now we have to focus on the game on Sunday, which is very important."

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