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Pellegrini plans youth revolution

Updated: 2013-07-12 07:41
By Agence France-Presse in Manchester, Britain ( China Daily)

Man City manager focused on nurturing up-and-coming talent

Manuel Pellegrini admits part of his mandate as Manchester City manager will be to help nurture young talent and save the club spending heavily on transfer fees in the future.

City, bought by Sheikh Mansour's Abu Dhabi United Group in 2008, has been the Premier League's highest spender in the transfer market in recent years.

But new financial fair-play rules have been introduced in a bid to curtail the spending of clubs like City and Pellegrini, who on Wednesday spoke to the media for the first time since he was appointed as Roberto Mancini's successor, seemed to suggest a slight departure from that policy in the long term.

"We have to have a different style here in the club," Pellegrini said. "I mean a different style in the way Man City must work in the next few years.

"It is impossible every year to buy three, four, five expensive players. We need a mix with young players, who work exactly the same as the first team and as the Under 21s.

"There are a lot of things we can improve. What Roberto Mancini and the other coaches have done we will continue working at and adding different things."

City chief executive Ferran Soriano was recently quoted as saying he wanted Pellegrini to win five trophies in the next five years.

Former Malaga boss Pellegrini knows he will be under pressure to compete for all trophies on all fronts, but the 59-year-old Chilean believes that is only part of his mandate at Eastlands.

"As a coach, of course, we always want immediate success," he said. "If that will bring us trophies, perfect ... we have more chances to win that way. In the same way we are working with young players and we will continue to do so.

"I'm here not only to win trophies - the Premier League, the Champions League, the FA Cup - I am here to work with young players.

"To win trophies is very important, but I am not here just for that. I will do my job here completely with Ferran, with Txiki Begiristain (Manchester City sporting director), with Patrick Vieira (elite development squad manager) also working with young players."

Pellegrini has already boosted his squad with the signings of Brazil midfielder Fernandinho from Shakhtar Donetsk for 30 million pounds ($45.4 million) and Spain winger Jesus Navas from Sevilla for 15 million pounds.

And the City manager confirmed a player's nationality will not be an important issue when asked whether he would target any English players.

"We need good players, yes. Good English, Argentinian, South American players. We are trying to have a strong squad in all positions," Pellegrini said.

"I think that all the clubs have the same problem with English players. Arsenal or Chelsea do not have a lot of English players but we have here very important young players.

"Is signing English players a priority? It is important, but not a priority.

"It is very difficult at an important club to have only national team players.

"We will see. I am sure players can arrive when we are on the tour of South Africa and Hong Kong.

"We are not in a hurry. We have people and choices."

(China Daily 07/12/2013 page22)