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Controversy as Real enter Pogba race

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Mancini denies Begiristain interference

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini insists the club's director of football Txiki Begiristain has not told him to play a 4-3-3 formation next season, adding that it is "impossible" to copy Barcelona.

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The Premier League champions have recruited two of the architects of Barca's recent success - Begiristain and chief executive Ferran Soriano - in a bid to emulate the achievements of the Catalan club.

And former Spain international Begiristain was reported to have told Mancini to set City up in a Barcelona-style 4-3-3 system for the next campaign.

However, the Italian has denied that is the case and says he and Begiristain are in complete agreement about the way forward for City.

"I speak with Txiki every day and he never told me this," he said. "We have the same thoughts about football. I don't think it is more important to play 4-3-3, 4-4-2 or 4-5-1, it is more important to have good players.

"Everyone wants to play like Barca, but Barca is one, like Real Madrid or AC Milan. It is impossible to play like Barca but I think that you can win also if you play a different style."

Mancini endured an awkward relationship with Begiristain's predecessor Brian Marwood but says he gets on well with the former Barca man.

"We are agreed about everything because we think the same," he said. "We don't have a different view."

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