Belfast Telegraph

Monday 30 May 2016

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini promises to attract big-name signings despite Uefa cap

By Andy Hampson

Published 22/05/2014

Aiming high: Manuel Pellegrini believes City have work to do in order to challenge for four pieces of silverware next campaign
Aiming high: Manuel Pellegrini believes City have work to do in order to challenge for four pieces of silverware next campaign

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has vowed the club will be ambitious if they decide to strengthen their squad this summer.

The newly-crowned Barclays Premier League champions must limit their spending to a net £49m as punishment for breaching Uefa's financial fair play regulations.

But City, who also won the Capital One Cup last season, have already insisted the European governing body's sanctions will not have any "material impact" on their planned transfer activity ahead of next term.

So although any spending would have to total considerably less than last year's £90million outlay, Pellegrini is still hopeful of securing top targets.

Asked if changes were likely, the Chilean said: "Maybe. We are going to see which is the best way to improve. I think one of the most important things for me is to have an ambitious mind.

"It is very important to win the title but these two titles will not be useful next year.

"We must analyse all the good things we did, all the bad things, where we must improve, which is the best way to do it. We have a lot of work (to do)."

Pellegrini's remarks come after chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak promised that any transfer activity this summer would be swift and decisive.

One issue likely to be exercising the minds of officials at the Etihad Stadium is the extraordinary comments of key midfielder Yaya Toure and his agent this week.

Toure has indicated that he is unhappy at the club because he feels under-appreciated and disrespected.

One of his chief complaints appears to be that he felt senior figures at the club failed to acknowledge his birthday during last week's trip to Abu Dhabi.

Toure's stock is presently high after an outstanding 2013-14 season, in which he scored 24 goals in all competitions, including 20 in the league and a superb strike in the League Cup final.

City have not commented on the situation but with the player having signed a new four-year contract just 13 months ago, their position is one of strength.

It also comes just over a week after Toure addressed the crowd gathered for City's open-top bus parade of Manchester and spoke of his ambitions for the club next season.

The Ivory Coast international, speaking on May 12, a day before his 31st birthday, said: "We are looking for (more). We have the team and we have the manager.

"This (next) year is going to be tough, we know that, but with the team we have we can do it. We expect a lot, the fans expect a lot as well. We can do it again, we can win it."

Pellegrini has similar aims. The former Malaga boss enjoyed a superb first season in charge, winning two trophies and even sustaining a push for four into the second half of the campaign.

Asked about his targets for next year, Pellegrini said: "Exactly the same as this season. We are the team that played longer in all the competitions. For me the four competitions are important.

"We must play in the Champions League, and in the Premier League and in the cups with our squad, with rotation, because you cannot play with players every game and you cannot prioritise one competition."

Pellegrini now intends to enjoy a summer holiday but admits it will be hard to detach himself from his preparations.

The 60-year-old said: "When you win the title it is very easy to enjoy the holiday, (but) also it is very difficult to disconnect absolutely, you cannot do it.

"I hope we can prepare (for) the next season with (director of football) Txiki Begiristain, with the owner and the president in the same way we did this year."

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