However, Roberto Mancini, whose side face Lech Poznan in a Europa League tie at Eastlands tonight, said that he was not surprised by Rooney's determination to leave Old Trafford.
He said the attraction of City was no different to the appeal both Manchester United and Chelsea have had for players in the past — and that City could not be blamed if big-name players were attracted to them.
Asked about the perceived shift in the balance of power between the two Manchester clubs, Mancini said: “Life changes. I don't think one club can [dominate] for 10 or 15 years.
“It is impossible for a club to continue that.
“It was the same situation a few years ago at Chelsea, and maybe 10-15 years ago at Manchester United.
“All clubs who can spend money get this criticism.
“Next year though it can change because the rules are changing [through financial fair play rules.] But at this moment if one club has money to spend then it is normal [that they want to spend it].
Mancini did not rule out the need for another top-line striker — “it depends,” he said — and after initially suggesting that no move for the player would be likely come January, he later rowed back on that.
“Maybe. Also in January we can change some players, I don't know.
“It will depend on our situation in January — if we have injuries to a couple of players. Or we might be going well,” Mancini said.
“I'm not surprised [Wayne Rooney wants to leave] because the [football] world changes.
“All the players can change every year if they want. I don't think there are 100 fantastic players in the world.
“There are maybe 15 who can change a squad. And if these players have a chance to leave [to better themselves] then this is normal.”
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