Belfast Telegraph

Wilkins advice for Mancini

Chelsea assistant manager Ray Wilkins believes Manchester City can challenge for the Premier League title this season - if they are properly moulded into a team by Roberto Mancini.

City have already boosted their ranks this summer by recruiting David Silva, Yaya Toure, Aleksandar Kolarov and Jerome Boateng, while Mario Balotelli and James Milner are expected to be two more expensive arrivals. Expectations for the coming campaign are high at Eastlands, but Wilkins feels it will be vital for City boss Mancini to shape a coherent side from his star-studded squad.

"It is a lot of money (they have spent) but they have very wealthy backers and I would imagine before we kick off next week there will be a few more players going in there as well," Wilkins told BBC Radio Five Live's Sportsweek programme.

"But it is never easy when so many new players come together. It is very nice and pleasant to have new players come in but you have to mould a team.

"The game is a team game and it is not easy for Mancini to put those guys together all at once.

"It is a juggling job and Roberto has been in that situation with Inter Milan before, so he'll understand that situation and I'm sure he'll handle it very well.

"Manchester United will be genuine contenders, but I think there are two or three others who will have a little dabble at us - like Manchester City, if they can form that group. They have very good individuals and could challenge us."

Chelsea hope to make an addition to their own squad in the next few days, having agreed an £18.2million fee with Benfica for Brazil midfielder Ramires.

"Nothing has been finalised as yet, but we are certainly in the mix for Ramires," Wilkins said.

"We would like him to join us and hopefully that will go through pretty shortly."


From Belfast Telegraph