Roberto Mancini expects Manchester City to bid for the Atlético Madrid striker Sergio Agüero in the next few days and despite Carlos Tevez’s likely departure dragging on.
After City’s 2-1 win over Vancouver Whitecaps it was not long before the discussion turned to Tevez’s on-off move to Corinthians, who earlier denied having a £40m bid accepted for the 27-year-old.
“I slept last night and I had a game to prepare for today so I don’t know any more,” the manager said. “The clubs are talking. They only have one number and it does not work at the moment.”
Clearly, though, Mancini is planning for life without his captain, having confirmed a bid is expected to be made for Agüero imminently. “Maybe in the next days,” he said. “I have not spoken to anyone about it, but probably. I think so.”
The City midfielder Gareth Barry admitted there has been some dressing-room discussion about Tevez, and said that he believes the South American has played his final game for the club. “There has obviously been the odd chat about Carlos,” he said. “He has made it clear he is ready to leave and the players will respect his decision. We would be sad to lose him because he is a class player who has worked really hard for the club. He has helped the club win its first trophy and he has always given 100%. We are grateful for that.”
But such is the nature of City these days, the loss of one top player heralds the arrival of another. “Agüero is a very exciting player from what I have seen on TV,” Barry said. “He is a class act. Names like that will excite fans and the players.”
In addition, a new striker emerged at Vancouver in John Guidetti, who equalised for City before Shaun Wright-Phillips scored the late winner. “John is young. He is a good player and I think he can have a good future at Manchester City,” Barry added. “He is strong. He is a typical English striker, even though he is Swedish. He has a good technique. He wants to improve. This year is important. He has a chance.”
Mancini also played down injury fears surrounding Yaya Touré, who turned an ankle towards the end of the first half and had to be substituted. It initially looked serious, but the manager insisted that the damage is not too bad. “We will have to see but I hope he will have recovered in three or four days,” the Italian said. “He fell over the other player’s foot and hurt his ankle, but hopefully he will be OK.”