Premier League winner Roberto Mancini last night vowed to spend big to compete with Spain’s giants on the day Manchester United captain Patrice Evra said his team would win back the title with ease and Old Trafford legend Sir Bobby Charlton dismissed Manchester City’s threat.
City manager Mancini knows the champions’ transfer activity this summer will depend on his ability to shift some big earners out of the club, as they come to terms with Uefa’s financial fair play regulations.
He said: ‘Barcelona and Real Madrid every year buy two or three players and spend a lot of money. I think for Manchester City it will be the same. We need to improve. We need to have the strength to play Champions League and Premier League.’
City scored two injury-time goals against QPR to beat United to the title on goal difference on Sunday, since when Sir Alex Ferguson has accused City of spending ‘silly money’ to buy success. Now Evra has fanned the flames by suggesting City were lucky.
He said: ‘It was just the last 30 seconds that made City champions. I always say when someone is champions they deserve it, but we gave the title to City.
‘City played their best football and we didn’t always play our best, but we still finished on the same points. It makes you think if we play our best football consistently next season we are going to win the league by many points.
‘I don’t like to make excuses but we suffered so many injuries. We lost Nemanja Vidic. Imagine if Vincent Kompany had been missing all the season for City?’
Charlton reflected yesterday on United’s victory at Sunderland on Sunday and their near miss, saying: ‘I was thinking, “This is fantastic. This could be one of the greatest things that has ever happened in my life”. And it didn’t turn out that way. But in football you have to be prepared for surprises.
‘We have an unbelievable club. This club, without question, is the best in the world. I don’t think for a moment we have anything to worry about with regard to City. City doesn’t interest me very much.
‘To have won 19 championships is unbelievable. City are just thinking about that.’ – Daily Mail