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Blues close in on 11m Boateng

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10 May 2010 10:07:21

Jerome BoatengCity are hoping to kick off their summer shopping spree by announcing the purchase of £11m Jerome Boateng this week. But Blues boss Roberto Mancini fears missing out on the Champions League will hinder any bid to bring Fernando Torres to Eastlands. The Blues are close to tying up loose ends on the three-year deal for the 21-year-old Hamburg defender Boateng, who will play for Germany in the World Cup. And manager Roberto Mancini admitted for the first time that the Blues are ?quite close? to clinching the deal for the 6ft 3ins star. He has been labelled as the best defender in the Bundesliga, and City beat off strong interest from Bayern Munich to sign him. Mancini said: ?Boateng is a good player, a young player and strong. He plays for the national team and we have a good chance to get him. ?We are quite close to signing him.? Part of the attraction is that Boateng is comfortable as a central defender, right back and can even play in midfield, another adaptable signing from Hamburg in the Vincent Kompany mould. And that versatility was uppermost in Mancini's mind when City tracked him. He said: ?He can play central defender, right defender, or in the middle, three different positions. If we find a player like that, who can play in two or three different positions, it is better for us. ?Next year we will play in four different competitions, which means playing every three days, so we need those players who can play in a few different positions.? Mancini wants to wrap up another two or three signings in the next month, but admits that he will also use the World Cup as a shop window for potential signings. ?It is possible that during the World Cup we see a good player, but at the moment we don't know,? he said. City have been continually linked with Liverpool's Torres, who could cost around £70m, but Mancini admits it would be easier to draw the world's best players to the club if they were in the Champions League. But City will have to settle for Europa League football next season after their hopes of breaking into the top four were wrecked by Wednesday night's home defeat to Tottenham. Asked whether the club can still attract top players like Torres in those circumstances, Mancini said: ?If we finished in the top four, it would be better and easier to attract top players,? said Mancini. ?There are probably some players who want to play in the Champions League and not in the Europa League. ?But there are a lot of players in Europe who will want to play for Manchester City next year. ?We won't be playing in the Champions League but we must try to win the other competition and finish in the top four in the Premier League. I think we are a good team but if we want to play for the top of the table we must improve. We now have time to buy some players and strengthen some positions.? Mancini is still hoping the Blues can strike more inflation-busting deals before the World Cup kicks off in South Africa next month. ?We will try to get players in before then,? said the Italian. ?It will be better for us and for the players, because it isdifficult to sign players who are at the World Cup ? their price can increase. ?So we will try to close contracts before the World Cup. It is difficult to say how many players we need, but we need some to improve our team. ?This week we will have a meeting and put together plans for next season ? it could be a long meeting, but we have time.? Mancini attributed Craig Bellamy's absence against West Ham yesterday to an ankle injury and also played down suggestions of a falling-out with Carlos Tevez. The Blues are intent on holding on to Tevez, but M.E.N. Sport understands the Argentine's representatives may be planning to ask for a pay rise following his phenomenal debut season. He is still not believed to be the highest earner at the club, and after scoring 29 goals and walking off with both the supporters' and players' player of the year trophies, he may want his pay packet to reflect that. ?Everything is fine with Carlos,? said Mancini.| Submit Comments| Comments (102)| PrintWhat's this? Emaildel.icio.usDiggredditFacebookStumbleUponNewsvineGoogle BookmarksNetscapeTechnoratiWindows LiveYahoo! MyWebMa.gnolia


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