Soriano keen for Manchester City to prioritise youth development

The 45-year-old chief executive wants the reigning Premier League champions to curb their heavy spending and emulate the transfer policy of his former club Barcelona
Manchester City chief executive Ferran Soriano has underlined his desire to see the club emulate Barcelona's youth policy.

City's meteoric recent rise from mid-table strugglers to Premier League champions has been aided by heavy investment from the club's mega-rich owner Sheikh Mansour.

However, Soriano is keen for the Etihad Stadium outfit to shed their reputation for big spending and start bringing players through the academy, much like his former club.

"My way of football? One year you can win with luck, but in the long term you need planning and investments to reach the final of the Champions League," he told Gazzetta dello Sport.

"In 2003 we did a study at Barcelona. For each player landed in the first team from the 'cantera' there was an average cost of €2.4 million. Nothing if you think the current costs.

"Even at a age of 5 years you should get the style of the club, then the rewards will come.

"Our problem is to find players stronger then ours. It's not easy. There are rumors associating them [Stevan Jovetic and Erik Lamela] to City, but I never comment on market rumours

"In the last three years there have been losses of €235m, then of €118m and now there is a 'red' of €59m.

"But we also have just invested €150 million for the structures of the youth sector. It's a fantastic project, focusing on financial sustainability

Roberto Mancini's future at the club has come under intense scrutiny this season with City 15 points behind league leaders Manchester United, but Soriano has given his backing to the Italian.

He added: "He is a champion, I do not add more. Anyway, it is not easy to win back any league, especially in the Premier League."