Manchester City have the best squad in the Premier League, yet manager Roberto Mancini is reportedly fuming at the club’s failure to sign Robin van Persie.
Reports in The Mirror and The Sun claim the Italian has had a major bust-up with the club’s chief football administrator, Brian Marwood, after he was told he must offload some of the club’s out-of-favour strikers before Van Persie can be signed.
Any one of Edin Dzeko, Emmanuel Adebayor or Carlos Tevez must be taken off the wage bill before Etihad Stadium officials will begin to act decisively in negotiations over the Gunners captain.
While it may be argued that Mancini is merely desperate to add as much quality to his squad as he can before City begin the defence of their Premier League title, reports of his anger give off a whiff of spoilt brat.
Any one of Sir Alex Ferguson, Roberto di Matteo or Arsene Wenger would jump at the chance to have a squad so blessed with quality as Mancini does.
The former Inter Milan boss has history in this department too, when last September he claimed: "I don't have players. I can only change the full-backs."
At the time he was referring to midfielders becasue of two injuries, but still had Yaya Toure and Gareth Barry available, whom had missed only a solitary game between them up to that point.
Although resting on your laurels after winning a league title is a cardinal sin in the football world, which may have something to do with Mancini’s desperation to get the personnel change out of the way quickly.
City’s is no ordinary squad, however, and the players mentioned above are all capable of breaking into the first team at some point or another.
It is a trio that could make the difference to any of the Premier League’s top clubs, yet it is fair to say that none of them have exactly contributed massively to the club’s first title in 44 years.
Adebayor spent the year on-loan at Tottenham Hotspur, a team who briefly looked like rivalling the two Manchester clubs for the title, where he Citizens subsidised his massive wages; the same wages that are proving such a major stumbling block to getting rid of him.
Dzeko's was not able to sustain his sensational early season form and soon became more of a feature on the substitutes bench, thanks to the sparking form of Sergio Aguero.
Meanwhile, Tevez provides something of a quandary for Mancini; the words exchanged between them are unlikely to be forgotten quickly, despite their assertions of any rift there was being healed.
Tevez’s five-month holiday in the middle of the season plumbed to all new depths of brat-like behaviour, so it is easy to imagine why they would want to get rid of him.
However, titles can heal scars it seems and the Argentine has now stated his desire to stay with the Etihad Stadium club.
Marwood has reportedly suffered Mancini’s wrath after having the temerity to suggest the club need to show some financial diligence with UEFA’s Financial Fair Play looming and the possible sanctions that come with it.
Van Persie’s situation provides a unique opportunity where the Premier League’s Golden Boot winner is available at far below the normal price due to his contractual situation.
However, the deal will surely include a hefty contract and accounting for this expense is a sensible move from Marwood; he knows that once FFP becomes active, City’s accounts and dealing will be monitored more closely than any side's.
It sounds absurd, but Mancini is just going to have to work under the financial restrictions being placed on him, which is a curious thought to entertain.
City could well sanction a move for Van Persie and make one or two other big signings, but the fact their business is being even slightly affected will be seen as a positive by those who agree with it’s introduction, and a reassurance for many who doubted the effectiveness of it.
Rather than fuming over the failure to sign another superstar for his impressive squad, Mancini should set about showcasing his managerial skills and get the best out of a supremely talented group of players.
Compare Mancini’s situation with the tightening of the purse strings across the city at Old Trafford, or the Emirates Stadium induced thriftiness that Wenger operates with, and you can be forgiven for asking what the problem is.
Mancini has one of the most expensively assembled squads in world football, yet still finds time to rage over not getting a new signing he wants.
Oh, how the other half live.
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