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By ESPN Staff

Mancini: City face Fernandinho fight

Roberto Mancini believes Manchester City could face competition from several of the world’s top clubs to sign Fernandinho.

Fernandinho has impressed this season for Shakhtar
Fernandinho is a man in demand, says Mancini

The City manager is an admirer of Shakhtar Donetsk’s Brazil international midfielder but feels it will be difficult to lure him to the Etihad Stadium because a shortage of high-class players means elite clubs are chasing the same targets.

Shakhtar manager Mircea Lucescu has warned City that Fernandinho will not be allowed to leave for less than his £42.3 million (€50 million) release clause, while the FA Cup finalists reportedly value the 27-year-old at £17 million.

Mancini said: “We can talk about Fernandinho. Fernandinho is a good player, but he plays for Shakhtar.

“I don’t think there are a lot of good players around the world. There are also four or five top teams who want to buy good players. It could be difficult.”

The manager hopes City will be able to conduct their transfer business earlier this summer than last, when four of their five major deals were finalised on transfer deadline day.

But when asked about the club’s plans in the market, he referred to speculation that he would be replaced by Pep Guardiola, Jose Mourinho or Manuel Pellegrini.

He asked: “You want to speak with me, with Pellegrini, with Guardiola, with Mourinho, with who? My strategy is only one - to get the second position and try and win the FA Cup.”

Guardiola is certain to manage Bayern Munich next season, while Mourinho may return to Chelsea.

And Mancini is expecting a tougher title race next year. He added: “I think that it is important that next year there will be four or five teams who can play for the title. Not only two, like in the last two years.

“It is better for the championship. I think next year will be stronger than this year probably. We hope Liverpool, Tottenham, Arsenal can play for the title.”

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