Roberto Mancini argues that now is the time for Manchester City to work hard to ensure that they can sign their preferred targets in the summer transfer window after opining that the club "didn't work well last year".
The Premier League champions trail leaders Manchester United by 10 points going into Sunday's match against Liverpool and lost out in the summer on top target Robin van Persie, who opted to move to Old Trafford and is leading the goalscoring charts with 18 strikes.
But, despite the disappointment of missing out on the Dutch striker and losing Mario Balotelli to AC Milan during the January transfer window, the City boss is confident of securing the players that he wants this coming summer.
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"Last year we didn't work well," he told reporters. "It's important we start now. Now's the time we can close in on some good players for the summer.
"I have meetings with Txiki [Begiristain, director of football] every week and we talk about the summer.
"It will be easier to get players in the summer if we work hard, well and quickly now. You can't start looking at players in May because all the good ones are gone and it becomes impossible."
Mancini revealed the difficulty of shopping during the January window as clubs are reluctant to let star players leave midway through a season but says that preparatory work for the summer is crucial to avoid the mistakes of last year.
"It's difficult in January to find really good players for us," he added. "Clubs don't want to sell now, but maybe they will in the summer. We need to work now, so that it is not like last year."