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Aug 11, 2014

Pellegrini hopeful of Mangala deal

Manuel Pellegrini says his Manchester City side weren't at full strength after they lost the FA Community Shield to Arsenal

Manuel Pellegrini has said that Manchester City are closing in Porto's Eliaquim Mangala and is convinced the centre-back wants to join the Premier League champions.

- Curtis: Lethargic City have work to do

The France international underwent a medical in Manchester a month ago but his 32 million-pound deal has been held up, with the City manager hinting that third-party ownership is the reason for the delay.

But Pellegrini is optimistic that the protracted move for the 23-year-old will finally be completed soon.

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"I hope so," said the Chilean in his news conference after City's 3-0 Community Shield defeat to Arsenal. "Maybe we need some papers but we continue our interest in the player who wants to come so we'll see what happens."

City accidentally released a video that seemed to show Mangala signing for the club while Pellegrini named the defender among his summer signings in an interview before the Community Shield kicked off.

He has already brought in Porto midfielder Fernando, Malaga goalkeeper Willy Caballero and Arsenal defender Bacary Sagna and told BT Sport: "We have a very strong squad. The players that we have brought in -- Fernando, Caballero, Sagna and Mangala -- will help the team and will make us stronger defending but I hope we continue to be strong offensively but I'm happy with the squad."

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Without Mangala and last season's regular partnership of Martin Demichelis and Vincent Kompany, who only returned to training in August after being granted extended breaks following the World Cup, City faced Arsenal with their fourth- and fifth-choice centre-backs in Matija Nastasic and Dedryck Boyata.

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