• Premier League

Mancini expects fight for Fernandinho

ESPN staff
May 3, 2013
Roberto Mancini wants to conduct his transfer business swiftly © Getty Images

Roberto Mancini believes Manchester City could face competition from several of the world's top clubs to sign Fernandinho.

The City manager is an admirer of Shakhtar Donetsk's Brazil international midfielder but feels it will be difficult to lure him to the Etihad Stadium because the shortage of high-class players means the elite clubs are all targeting the same footballers.

Shakhtar manager Mircea Lucescu had warned City that Fernandinho will not be allowed to leave for less than his £42.3 million release clause while the FA Cup finalists reportedly value the 27-year-old at £17 million.

And Mancini said: "We can talk about Fernandinho. Fernandinho is a good player but he plays for Shakhtar. I don't think there are a lot of good players around the world. There are also four or five top teams who want to buy good players. It could be difficult."

Mancini hopes City will be able to conduct their transfer business earlier this summer than last year, when four of their five major deals were finalised on transfer deadline day.

But when asked about City's plans in the market, he referred to speculation that he will be replaced by Pep Guardiola, Jose Mourinho or Manuel Pellegrini.

He asked: "You want to speak with me, with Pellegrini, with Guardiola, with Mourinho, with who? My strategy is only one, to get the second position and try and win the FA Cup."

Guardiola is certain to manage Bayern Munich next season while Mourinho may return to Chelsea. And Mancini is expecting a tougher title race next year.

He added: "I think that it is important that next year there will be four or five teams who can play for the title. Not only two, like in the last two years. It is better for the championship. I think next year will be stronger than this year probably. We hope Liverpool, Tottenham, Arsenal can play for the title."

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