Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini was in Abu Dhabi last night with his summer transfer targets on the agenda for a board meeting which will help map the next stage in the club's progress.
City are not understood to have the Argentine Sergio Aguero in their sights, despite the fact he has told Atletico Madrid he wants to leave, and neither did the €35m (£30.5m) bid which Udinese received – and rejected – for the Chilean forward Alexis Sanchez come from City. But Mancini made it clear before leaving Manchester that he believes serious spending is required this summer, potentially putting him on a collision course with chief executive Garry Cook.
Mancini said on Friday that he wants all the new arrivals in place by the start of next season and his hand is strengthened by City's strong end to this campaign, which saw them finish level on points with second-placed Chelsea.
Mario Balotelli's failure to show for the club's FA Cup parade does not signal the end of his career at City and though the striker's bizarre character was revealed again yesterday when he appeared at a players' gathering in Milan and hurled water bombs, he has started his summer in Italy by pledging his future to City – for now.
"For the time being, I am happy in England," he told Corriere dello Sport. And though he has never hidden his affection for Milan, the team he supported as a boy, he insisted that a move to the Rossoneri was out of the question.
"I compliment Milan for winning the scudetto, but with regards to me, I am happy," he said. Balotelli's agent, Mino Raiola, has confirmed that the striker's future is at City, where he is under contract until June 2015. "I'm 2,000 per cent certain that Balotelli will remain at Manchester City," Raiola said.
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