Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini hopes to sign James Milner and Mario Balotelli within a week

Italian wants to secure deals by Thursday....
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini is confident James Milner and Mario Balotelli will have signed for the club by Thursday.

Aston Villa manager Martin O’Neill did reveal on Friday that Milner was on the verge of the big money move to the City of Manchester Stadium, although he stated the contract was still to be signed.

With both Milner and Balotelli having international commitments this week, the progress of the transfers has slowed, but Mancini still feels both deals can be tied up once the fixtures are over.

"We are close with both players but now they are going with their national teams," Mancini told reporters after seeing his team beat Valencia 2-0 on Saturday night.

"We hope that we can have these players by next Thursday.

"For now we have two days off and we are not going to talk about the market. Next week we will see.

"These deals could happen but we need to wait."

City have already spent over £100 million this summer, confirming their status as the richest club in the world.

Even Valencia manager Unai Emery claimed City had now over taken Real Madrid in the money stakes.

He said: "On a worldwide scale the only comparison has been Real Madrid, but City have even gone beyond that now.

"They are creaming off some of the biggest players in the world. The investment has bought them a squad of great players and now they are definite contenders to win the title in England.

"It takes more than just investment of course but certainly in the Premier League I would regard them as being at the same level as both Chelsea and Manchester United."

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