City's Champions League fate will be decided by their final
Group A game at home to Bayern Munich on Wednesday when manager
Roberto Mancini will also tackle one of the many critics of the
club's big-money approach to cracking the European elite.
Bayern Chief Executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has questioned
City's free-spending ways in view of impending financial fair
play rules and has cited the club as an example when calling on
UEFA to impose strict penalties on those who do not comply.
"I don't understand Rummenigge's behaviour against
Manchester City - he's been talking about us for six months,"
Mancini told a news conference on Tuesday.
"Every time [it is about] financial fair play, he continues
to say he hopes Napoli go through to the second stage... I
don't understand what's happened with Rummenigge, tomorrow I
want to ask him."
The new wealth at City was in evidence at their Carrington
training ground where a posh department store has set up a
pop-up shop where players can do their Christmas shopping.
Bayern coach Jupp Heyckes denied there was any ill feeling
from his club towards the world's richest football club.
"I don't know about all that [Rummenigge's comments]... we
have got respect for Manchester City, just look at what they are
doing in the English league," he told a news conference.
"There is no resentment, it's more about two teams fighting
each other in competition on a sporting level."
City need to beat group winners Bayern at the Etihad Stadium
on Wednesday and hope second-placed Napoli fail to win at
Villarreal, who have yet to pick up a point, in order to qualify
for the last 16.
It is not just Rummenigge who has spoken unfavourably about
the Premier League club with Napoli President Aurelio de
Laurentiis taunting them last month by saying City owner Sheikh
Mansour would "buy another toy" if they are not successful.
"He [De Laurentiis] doesn't know him," Mancini said of the
club's owner. "Sheikh Mansour is a very good man... I can't
think about this stupid situation."
Having once been dismissed as "noisy neighbours" by
champions Manchester United, City are finding the racket is
about them and they feel they have the quality on the pitch to
Mancini, who has rated his team's chances of reaching the
knockout stage of Europe's elite club competition at 30 percent,
thinks there will be a lot of sides who will be relieved if City
do not progress.
"Bayern think this," he said.
"If we go through it will be a big problem for the other
teams... I think that every team is worried regarding
Manchester City because Manchester City in the future will
become one of the top clubs in the world."
One player who is not part of that vision is striker Carlos
Tevez, who is in Argentina without the club's permission after
refusing to warm-up in September's match against Bayern in
AC Milan have spoken of their interest in signing him on
loan but City are only prepared to sell him.
"I think that for us it is important to sell him. We can do
this for him and for the club," Mancini said. "If he has the
chance to go to Italy, I am happy for him."
It is not just outsiders who have been talking about City
with defender Kolo Toure under the media spotlight for comments
he made to a French magazine this week saying he had been
victimised for playing in the African Nations Cup two years ago.
Toure has seen little first-team action since his return
from a doping ban earlier this year but Mancini said the Ivorian
was still part of his plans.
The manager said he was not going to investigate the article
as he believed Toure's explanation that he had been misquoted.
Pardew to report to returning ex-manager
Sub scores to make it three World Cups in a row
Three-year jail sentence a possibility
Principality project faces legal wrangles over exceptional circumstances
Who would you rather have playing for your club?
12 months out, the stars look to the World Cup
Your questions answered by an A to Z of legends
75% of all TV is Bale
On the road to ruin
Adidas Nitrocharge for you
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010