Roberto Mancini has renewed his criticisms of the Manchester City board, describing himself as "worried" going into the new season because of the club's inability to conclude their transfer business earlier in the summer.
Samir Nasri's proposed transfer from Arsenal would once again establish City as the biggest transfer-window spenders in English football, with a net spend in excess of £60m. Mancini, however, is becoming increasingly impatient with the length of time it is taking for his squad to be completed.
The Italian had expected Nasri to be confirmed before Friday's registration point to play against Swansea on Monday, and he still wants at least one more signing. "Last year was the same too," he said. "I don't understand this. I thought we could get all the players we needed three or four weeks ago. But here we are and the deals aren't closed.
"We need this player [Nasri]. I asked for this player two months ago. I'm worried because I don't have this player today and I probably won't have him tomorrow. We play three games in August and I am worried."
The Nasri deal has been held up because the clubs are arguing about the structure of the payments for a deal that would cost City in the region of £23m.
It has been a complex process – Arsenal began the summer by stating unequivocally that Nasri would not be sold to an English rival – and the fact the London club are now willing to sell could be construed as a personal triumph for the City chief executive, Garry Cook, and the football administrator, Brian Marwood. But Mancini's relationship with the two men has been fractious at times over the summer and he remains unsatisfied.
"I haven't spoken with Garry or Brian, so I don't know the situation," Mancini continued. "I hope that we can get the players I asked for two months ago. Monday is the start of the season for us and we have not completed our team. I hope we can do this very quickly because we need other players."
One of those might be Alessio Cerci, the Fiorentina winger. "Cerci is a good player," Mancini said. "He is young and he could be an option but there are other players."
The City manager expects Carlos Tevez to stay at the club, pointing out "it is going to be difficult for him to leave (because) there isn't a team that wants to take him." Tevez, he said, was "not 100%" after being given extra time to recover from the Copa América and will not be ready to start against Swansea, and the same applies to Sergio Agüero, the £38m signing from Atlético Madrid. "Sergio is getting better but he is not ready to play a full game. Maybe he can play 40 or 45 minutes. The season is long and it's important for him to find his fitness."
As for the lingering question of the City captaincy, Mancini was asked whether he should give it to Vincent Kompany on a permanent basis now it is clear Tevez is at the club against his will. "I will decide this, not anyone else. I've made my decision but I haven't told the players and when Carlos next plays you will see who is the captain. Right now, it's not important. It's more important to get in the new players we need."
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