Football: City chairman vows to make transfer impact

LONDON (AFP) - Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak insists the Premier League champions will still be major players in the transfer market despite Uefa's recent sanctions.

City face a spending cap after European football's governing body limited the club's net outlay on players during this transfer window to 49 million pounds (S$103.1 million) as one of their punishments for breaching financial fair play regulations.

But City said last week that figure would have no "material impact" on manager Manuel Pellegrini's transfer activity and Al Mubarak expects new signings to arrive imminently.

The Eastlands outfit have been strongly linked with moves for Porto's French defender Eliaquim Mangala and his Brazilian team-mate Fernando, while Arsenal right-back Bacary Sagna, out of contract at the end of the season, is also reportedly a target.

"We know exactly what needs to be done. We know exactly the players that need to go and the players that need to come in, the areas that need to be strengthened, the players that we intend to bring in to fill these areas," Al Mubarak told City TV on Monday.

"I can tell our fans to expect, as last year, an efficient and swift execution plan.

"We will have, after the World Cup, a good pre-season and we will go into the season very ready, as we did last year, to compete for four trophies." Al Mubarak said that City's Abu Dhabi-based owner Sheikh Mansour has been delighted with the team's progress in the past 12 months, which saw Pellegrini win the Premier League and League Cup in his first season at Eastlands after replacing sacked predecessor Roberto Mancini.

"Sheikh Mansour feels this club is doing exactly what he intended it to do in terms of performance across the board - on the field, off field, trophies, championships and wins, but also commercial success, and the fans' support has been unwavering," Al Mubarak said.

"Genuinely, Sheikh Mansour is absolutely delighted with the way this club, this company, this business is performing." City attracted criticism after parting company with Mancini, as the Italian had led the club to their first title in 44 years in 2012.

But Chilean coach Pellegrini has proved a popular replacement and the club feel their decision has been vindicated.

"The decision to hire Pellegrini was a very important decision for us as we look at the next couple of years," Al Mubarak added.

"I am absolutely delighted for him, for the fans, for the club, for everyone involved at Manchester City.

"It is a perfectly justified decision. I think the results speak for themselves." One of the next targets for City will be to carry their domestic pre-eminence onto the European stage.

Some progress on this front has been made under Pellegrini, with the club reaching the Champions League last 16 for the first time before bowing out against Barcelona.

"This year we have made some progress. We have played much better football, been a lot more competitive and I think the experience coming through the two games against Barcelona will be invaluable for us," Al Mubarak said.

"Let's be clear - Europe has always been an integral part of our strategy, an integral part of the success we want to achieve for this club. We will continue to progress."

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