Manchester City target title next season

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The Independent Football

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini aims to challenge Manchester United for the title next season and also has his eye on a successful European campaign.

That is why the Italian is keen to beef up his squad - as early as possible - when the transfer window opens.

Mancini outlined his plans following the 2-0 victory against Bolton at the Reebok Stadium thanks to goals from Joleon Lescott and substitute Edin Dzeko.

The result brings automatic entry to the Champions League group stages and capped a superb season for City after they lifted the FA Cup, an achievement they will celebrate today with an open-top bus parade.

Asked if it was possible to challenge United, he said: "Why not? But it is important we have all the new players in position for pre-season.

"Last year we had some players join five days before the start of the campaign, which did not help us. That is why we want to do business early this summer."

On the Champions League, he added: "It is a strange competition. We are a good team but maybe we need other players who have played in it and have experience.

"Every game is a hard game and if you don't have many players you can change in the Champions League and Premier League it would be a really hard season.

"Tottenham this year put all their strength into the Champions League and lost many points in the Premier League. For this we need good players, many players for these competitions. In football if you don't spend you don't win."

Lescott made the breakthough in the 43rd minute when he sent a looping header over Jussi Jaaskelainen following a corner from Adam Johnson.

That took the wind out of Bolton's sails and Dzeko added a second in the 62nd minute, shortly after stepping off the bench when he capitilised on Gary Cahill's mistake.

Bolton manager Owen Coyle could not his his disappointment after his side finished 14th - they were fourth at the end of November.

After a fifth successive defeat and after watching striker Daniel Sturridge get red-carded, he said: "I felt we were terrific in the first half. We had great opportunities to get in front. We were more than a match for them.

"The second half did not live up to the first half but I know we have players running on empty as we have not had strength in depth."