Belfast Telegraph

Mancini: Hodgson can have players

Roberto Mancini has told England boss Roy Hodgson he can have any Manchester City players he wants for the summer friendlies against the Republic of Ireland and Brazil.

On Thursday, Hodgson claimed City's two post-season encounters with Chelsea in St Louis and New York were causing him a headache because the men involved are not due back in the UK until May 26, the same day the Three Lions are scheduled to report for duty.

Yet Mancini has made it clear he is not a fan of the games either. And whilst City officials have privately suggested all their England players - including Joe Hart and James Milner - will be required for the Chelsea games, Mancini has suggested Hodgson will get the men he wants. "If he needs a player we don't have a problem," said Mancini.

"We go to play two games for the club because it is important - but I don't like to go (on tour) after the championship.

"Usually I don't like this because when we finish the season it is finished.

"The players need to go home for one week because afterwards they should go with the national team."

Sir Alex Ferguson is of the same opinion, although he could not resist a sarcastic jibe at why two of England's biggest clubs should be doing it.

"I was surprised to see they were playing two games," said Ferguson.

"It can only be because of whatever financial gains they're getting out of it. They're the two richest clubs too. They must need the money.

"I wouldn't do it, I must admit. Players need to get their rest at the end of the season."


From Belfast Telegraph