• Premier League

Mancini dismisses Ibra talk as City cut transfer budget

ESPN staff
May 15, 2012

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has dismissed speculation he is preparing to launch a summer bid for AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Reports in the Italian media at the start of the week had indicated that the forward had instructed his agent to arrange a move to the newly-crowned Premier League champions, although Ibrahimovic subsequently denied the speculation by insisting that Sunday's final Serie A game against Novara would not be his last at San Siro.

Mancini worked with Ibrahimovic between 2006 and 2008 at Inter Milan, during which period the Italian club won two Serie A titles. But the Italian is not expecting a reunion with his former charge in the Premier League.

"Ibra is a great player but I don't think Milan want to sell him,'' Mancini told Gazzetta dello Sport."I'm going to be honest, we haven't looked at the market yet.

"In the last five weeks our only focus has been the league."

Even if Mancini does decide to make a move for the Sweden international, it appears he may not find the same resources available to him as in seasons past. City chairman Khaldoon al-Mubarak indicated on Tuesday that there will only be minor adjustments to the current playing squad, not any major additions.

"We have a championship-winning team," Al-Mubarak said. "We are not starting from the same point as in other pre-seasons.

"We have had to improve in a very dramatic manner. Now we have a nucleus. To improve further we have to harness that nucleus."

Ibrahimovic's agent, Mino Raiola, also insisted that his client wants to stay with the Italian club.

"[Milan chief executive Adriano] Galliani and Zlatan are very pleased," Raiola told Sky Sport24. "Zlatan wants to win and that's why he's staying at Milan, to win."

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