Mancini keen on midfield duo

Roberto Mancini takes charge of his first game for Manchester City
Image: Mancini: Keen on midfield duo

Man City manager Roberto Mancini has confirmed his interest in AC Milan midfielder Mathieu Flamini and Fernando Gago of Real Madrid.

Manchester City boss confirms Flamini and Gago interest

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has confirmed his interest in AC Milan midfielder Mathieu Flamini and Fernando Gago of Real Madrid. Flamini was strongly linked with a loan switch to Eastlands earlier in the week but the Serie A side claimed they were yet to receive an official offer. The former Arsenal player has slipped down the pecking order under coach Leonardo and is keen to feature regularly in the coming months to ensure he features in France's World Cup squad. Although primarily a defensive midfielder, Flamini has also been operating at right-back for the San Siro side and could be brought in by City to bolster their backline. Real's Argentina international midfielder Gago has found regular action limited with the Spanish giants and has been linked with a January switch. Coach Manuel Pellegrini insisted earlier this month that he did not want to see the 23-year-old move on and believes he can make a contribution to the Santiago Bernabeu cause.

Test

Mancini has brought in defensive midfielder Patrick Vieira for the remainder of the season from Inter Milan, but the France international is still to feature due to a calf injury. The Italian believes the former Arsenal ace could return for the second leg of their Carling Cup semi-final against Manchester United next Wednesday, but is keen to further bolster his squad as the Eastlands outfit chase a top-four finish in the Premier League. Mancini told Gazzetta dello Sport: "I need players. I hope that Vieira is fit for the return. "Perhaps Real Madrid will give me Gago, maybe Milan (gives me) Flamini..." Despite the vast financial resources available to City, Vieira's arrival and the proposed moves for Flamini and Gago would not involve a transfer fee. Mancini, brought in to replace Mark Hughes in December, has no problem with the approach being taken by the club's hierarchy. He added: "I think they are putting me to the test. I won't disappoint them."

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