Mancini: 'I don't know what to say. You need to ask Brian Marwood'

No doubts about what will grab the headlines from today's press conference:

The first Friday press conference was always likely to be the one where the (lack of) transfer activity murmurings we have read about crystallised into words of discontent. It is easy to see Roberto Mancini's frustrations; he has identified that his squad is in need of two or three additions from last season (and it is evident where these areas are) and it seems at this point as though he is set to be frustrated, or at least until deadline day is upon us.

Brian Marwood of course is the person these frustrations are directed it, but is Mancini justified in airing his grievances - even if they are merely trying to exert a little pressure on those in charge of conducting negotiations and releasing the purse strings. It is difficult to conceive Mancini's being the underlying feelings of any long term discontent; after all, he was more than happy to put pen to paper on a new contract just weeks ago. Assurances over transfer strategy would surely have been part of discussions at the time.

The difficulty Mancini (and City) face in such a situation is that it is no longer the summer of 2008. The distant possibility of Financial Fair Play is now a very real threat that is fast appearing on the horizon. As Ian Ladyman tweeted today, City are paying for the more wanton decisions of transfer windows past; being unable to shift the duo of Emmanuel Adebayor and Roque Santa Cruz does (italics) restrict their ability in the market. City are also now no longer the big player, able to blow other clubs out of the water.

Austerity (relatively speaking) also has to be a watchword and City (like others did to them) also have to watch PSG et al flexing their considerable financial muscle, following the very blueprint City did this past four years. Mancini's time at City - and Inter before it - rarely saw him not backed in the transfer market. It is clear City are (or have been) negotiating with players and clubs but it is a difficult time to buy. Traditionally, clubs look to wait until late August, hoping to eke out that extra million or two from nervous buyers, ever twitching as the window begins to close.

City will surely make additions before the end of August, just maybe not all those Mancini covets or exactly when he wants them. His frustrations may be real, but it is highly unlikely they hint at any long term concern.

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