Manchester City legend Dennis Tueart believes the next big challenge for the club is to develop its own talent rather than spending fortunes on other club's players, according to the book Mancini: Diary of a Champion.
Roberto Mancini plans to embark on another spectacular summer spending spree to make City challengers for the Champions League as well as a bid to retain the title and see off rivals Manchester United again.
However, Tueart says in the book: "The next challenge is to develop the academy, which this club can now do with the right investment, because not just City but every club knows it is of paramount importance to nurture your own youth talent with the Financial Fair Play coming into force."
Tueart tried to implement a conveyor belt of homegrown talent when he was a club director but now he feels the resources are there for City to generate its own talent. "This is the real challenge, and one City is in a position to meet."
City last weekend ended their 44-year wait to become league champions, but Tueart has provided a reminder of how bad things were for the club in 1999, when they had been on the brink of losing the Second Division play-off final.
In a foreword to the book, Tueart says: "City were 2-0 down to Gillingham at Wembley in the Division Two play-offs, and in those five minutes of extra time, City forced the game into extra time and eventually won on penalties and gained promotion.
"I dread to think what would have happened had City not got back into the second tier and been left in the third tier of English football, carrying the amount of debt I was aware of at that time. There would have had to have been a fire sale of the best players and the only way to put it was that City were at their lowest ebb.
"I would hate to think of the club's future, if indeed it would have had a future."
Of this year's dramatic title success, he added: "My box is behind the goal where those two goals were scored and I nearly fell off the balcony. I didn't sit down for the last 30 minutes it was so exciting. It was very, very rewarding to see City win the title, and it was based on so much that the club did right on and off the field.
"Off the field they showed they are capable of being at the highest level. I was so pleased on the field that the team came through, especially pleased that it was Aguero who scored that late, late winner, as he was one of the team's leading lights, so reliably consistent when the club had to go through so much with Tevez and Balotelli. It turned the entire season into pure theatre, pure drama."
"Mancini: Diary of a Champion" will be published in early June but you can pre-order a copy direct from the publishers for £8 (UK) and £10 (Rest of the World). http://www.empire-uk.com - Empire Publications, 1 Newton Street, Manchester M1 1HW Tel: (44) 161 872 3319 Fax: (44) 161 872 4721