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Mancini makes power play

23 February 2013-PA Sport

mancini manchester city

Asserting his authority ...Roberto Mancini isn't feeling any pressure at Manchester City (Getty)

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has issued a strong reminder of the position and power he holds at the Etihad Stadium.

The Italian's future has long been the subject of speculation but that has intensified in the past fortnight with City's Premier League title defence appearing all but over.

But a week after stating he would not be sacked, Mancini swore when asked at his latest press conference about fresh rumours concerning his job.

He followed that with a robust defence of his record during his three-year tenure.

Then, in an explosive interview, he revealed frustration over last northern summer's transfer policy and strongly criticised the efforts of one of last season's high-profile signings, Samir Nasri.

None of that will quell speculation Mancini will not survive beyond this season, but it was a defiant indication the 48-year-old intends to stay on.

Mancini met the media on Friday to preview Sunday night's critical Premier League clash with Chelsea.

He was greeted by a question about Malaga coach Manuel Pellegrini, who is the latest name suggested as a potential successor at Eastlands.

After swearing in frustration - but with a smile that indicated his sense of humour has not been lost - Mancini spelt out his thoughts on the matter.

He said: "I cannot continue to answer about this every week.

"I don't understand this - why would Manchester City change their manager. For what reasons?

"In the last 18 months since Manchester United won the Premier League, there were seven trophies (to play for) and Manchester City won three of those seven trophies."

Later in the day, The Guardian published an exclusive interview with the former Inter Milan boss.

In it Mancini admitted he was not happy with recruitment last northern summer, when he had hoped to supplement his title-winning squad with more high-profile players.

Robin van Persie was the prime target, but City lost out to Manchester United, while the club were also linked with Daniele di Rossi and Javi Martinez.

Mancini told the newspaper: "We didn't do what we should have done in the summer transfer market - we worked really badly in the market."

France playmaker Nasri, 25, came under attack after failing to deliver consistently since his $34 million move from Arsenal in 2011.

Mancini said: "A player of this quality could be one of the best players in Europe. But it's not happening.

"Samir can do better than this year. He is a top player but he has not been playing at his level."

Mancini added that, working in conjunction with new chief executive Ferran Soriano and Txiki Begiristain, he expects to secure more of his transfer targets this summer.

Napoli striker Edinson Cavani and Atletico Madrid forward Radamel Falcao are among those linked and Mancini admires them both.

He said: "Cavani and Falcao would work in England. They have experience. Both players are 26, 27."

On the pitch, City need to win this weekend to maintain any lingering title hopes and avoid being pulled into a battle for second with Chelsea.

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