sport

City transfer plans unchanged

Manchester City's transfer activity will not be stifled this summer despite facing a spending cap as a result of UEFA sanctions, insists the club chairman.

City's net outlay on players this summer has been limited to 49million as one of their punishments for breaching financial fair play regulations, but the newly-crowned Premier League champions seem determined as ever to build on their dominance.

"We know exactly what needs to be done," City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak told City TV.

"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.

"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 championships."

City have bounced back in superb style after a relatively disappointing end to the 2012-13 season, with new manager Manuel Pellegrini shining as Roberto Mancini's replacement.

Al Mubarak reported the owner was delighted with progress, adding: "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."

"The decision to hire Pellegrini was a very important decision for us as we look at the next couple of years. 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 and they are naturally keen to build on their efforts last season when they reached the Champions League knockout stage for the first time.

Al Mubarak added: "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.

"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."

Al Mubarak also paid tribute to two City players who are now out of contract in Joleon Lescott and Gareth Barry and are set to leave this summer.

On Lescott, Al Mubarak said: "He is a wonderful man. He has served this club loyally and he has had some of his best performances in his career here at Manchester City. We will miss him and I really want to thank him for all his efforts."

Regarding Barry, who also joined the club in 2009 and was loaned to Everton last summer, Al Mubarak said: "Gareth is another one of those wonderful players that made a big career decision when he decided to join City. He was a loyal player in our squad, fully committed to our cause, had some phenomenal performances. I want to wish him all the best going forward."