Mancini predicts tough test
- Sun 19 Aug 2012, 9:06AM
- Posted by Nicola McCarthy
The wait is finally over and as City set out to defend their Premier League crown, the back pages are full of Blues news.
After ending the club’s 44 year wait for a league title last season, it seems Roberto Mancini believes he faces an even bigger task this year in retaining it.
According to The Citizen, the City boss believes he and his squad have a real battle on their hands as they kick off their campaign against Southampton.
“It will be even harder than last year. United have played for the title every year for 20 years,” claimed Mancini.
"When you are champions everyone wants to beat you, starting with Southampton. For this reason it will be a difficult game.”
One man who is backing the Italian and believes the Premier League trophy will return to the Etihad Stadium in May is former Blues boss Kevin Keegan.
“Manchester City will win it again, Manchester United are going to push them all the way but I think it's mainly between those two," the 61-year-old told Goal.com.
"Despite Chelsea spending £65 million and with Villas-Boas new at Spurs and Newcastle stacking up, I still think it's going to be in the North West again.
Elsewhere this morning, the future of City winger Adam Johnson is still being widely discussed with the Sunday edition of the Daily Star claiming he could be on his way to his home town of Sunderland.
According to the paper, Black Cats boss Martin O’Neill has put forward a bid of £10 million for the England international.
“The bid is acceptable to City – but Johnson is likely to delay a decision while he weighs up his options,” writes Paul Hetherington.
“Everton are also keen and there could be interest from Spurs and West Ham.”
Remember if there are any further movements in or out of the club this summer we will be the first to let you know.
Finally for this morning’s roundup, a new book has revealed that City once (mistakenly) made a bid for Barcelona’s Lionel Messi.
According to Goal.com, lines were crossed somewhere between Manchester, London and Abu Dhabi during the takeover in 2009.
The result was a £30 million bid from the Blues from the club’s star striker – needless to say it was rejected!
Well, we can all now wonder, what if?!