Roberto Mancini is set to bring in up to FIVE new faces to build a City squad capable of challenging in the Champions League.
The City manager says he is still focused on achieving a “perfect” season by adding the FA Cup to their qualification for the elite European tournament.
But work will begin in earnest in the next fortnight to bring in a raft of new players to bolster the quality of Mancini’s squad.
City fans hoping for the a fistful of world stars may be disappointed, however.
M.E.N. Sport understands that the Blues are looking to add a couple of marquee names – with flying Udinese winger Alexis Sanchez and Wesley Sneijder high on the list – and then two or three less glamorous players.
City are set to clear the decks this summer, with as many as nine players expected to leave – Emmanuel Adebayor, Craig Bellamy, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Patrick Vieira, Jo, Wayne Bridge, Felipe Caicedo, Nedum Onuoha and Roque Santa Cruz.
And with Carlos Tevez’s future still uncertain until his representatives sit down with City officials shortly after the end of the season, City will need to re-structure their squad.
They originally planned two or three signings, but the potential loss of Tevez and the chance that Kolo Toure may face a lengthy ban after failing a drug test has forced a rethink.
And if the Blues move on those players on their unwanted list, and end up selling Tevez as well, it will generate sizeable incoming fees, vital as the Blues are conscious that Uefa’s new financial fair play rules kick in next season and they have to start living within their means.
The Blues have already expressed an interest in lightning-fast winger Sanchez, who stareed at last summer’s World Cup, and Inter Milan midfielder Wesley Sneijder may figure in any Inter Milan bid for Tevez.
They are also monitoring developments with Ajax defenders Jan Vertonghen and Gregory van der Wiel and Bolton’s Gary Cahill.
Mancini has also said that if Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the Barcelona star on loan at AC Milan, changes his mind about not wanting to join City, he would “find room” for him at City, but that possible deal is one that might have come off last year but is now dead in the water.
The manager is refusing to talk about potential signings until after the FA Cup final and the pursuit of Arsenal in third place is settled next week.
“I know we can now have a perfect season, if we can recover well for the final,” said Mancini. “Getting in the Champions league means our targets will be higher.
“But in the last year we brought good players – Yaya Toure, Mario Balotelli, David Silva, Jerome Boateng, Edin Dzeko, James Milner, Aleks Kolarov. They are all fantastic players.
“Next year these players can improve as it is not easy to play in the Premier League.” The manager laughed off Harry Redknapp’s suggestion that City already had two big signings in the bag.
“I don't know,” he said. “In Europe there are many players who can play for Manchester City. But the same can play in other important teams.”
But he did warn that City need to strengthen considerably if they are to juggle Premier League, Champions League and the domestic cups next season.
“Tottenham had this problem this year, and they had 26 or 27 good players,” he said. “When you play in the Champions League and want to try and win the title, you need many players. It is very hard without that.
“I don't know how many players I will need at this moment. We have four very important days to recover and think about the final. After that we have time to think and talk about new players.”