• Premier League

Manchester City not aiming to copy Barcelona

ESPN staff
January 25, 2013
Roberto Mancini believes in buying good players © PA Photos

Roberto Mancini insists Manchester City's director of football Txiki Begiristain has not told him to play 4-3-3 next season and said it is "impossible" to copy Barcelona.

The Premier League champions have recruited two of the architects of Barcelona's success, in Begiristain and chief executive Ferran Soriano, in a bid to emulate the achievements of the Catalan club.

And former Spain international Begiristain was reported to have told Mancini to set City up in a Barcelona-esque 4-3-3 system.

But the Italian denied that is the case and said he and the sporting director are in complete agreement about the way forward for City.

"I speak with Txiki every day and he never told me this," Mancini said. "We have the same thoughts about football. I don't think it is more important to play 4-3-3, 4-4-2 or 4-1-5, it is more important to have good players.

"Everyone wants to play like Barca, but Barca is one, like Real Madrid or AC Milan. It is impossible to play like Barca but I think that you can win also if you play a different style."

Mancini endured an awkward relationship with Brian Marwood when the Englishman was involved in transfers but said he gets on well with Begiristain. He added: "We are agreed about everything because we think the same. We don't have a different view."

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