Man City Daily – de Jong to re-sign, Mancini hoping for silverware

Manchester City are reportedly ready to offer Dutch midfielder Nigel de Jong a huge new £25 million contract in an attempt to ensure that he remains at Eastlands for the rest of his top-level career. Even though the 26-year-old is not even halfway through the four-and-a-half-year contract he signed in January 2009, City boss Mancini is keen to secure his services until well beyond the summer of 2013, and City are ready to offer him a new four-year £120,000-a-week contract.

The Blues are understood to want to wrap-up the negotiations before he enters the last year of his current deal. The Dutchman has not featured for the Blues since the 2-2 draw at Birmingham on February 2 after picking up an ankle injury. Mancini is hopeful that he will have recovered in time for the Premier League clash with Wigan on Saturday.

The City boss was keen to highlight the 26-year-old’s importance to the team. “Nigel is a very important player for us. We don’t have another player like Nigel who can play in front of the defence and win back a lot of balls for us during a game.” Mancini said: “He’s important in the dressing room too, because he is a good guy, he has experience and he’s a leader. But I would prefer him to be back on the pitch.”

Mancini also reiterated his desire to end City’s 35 year trophy drought and finally deliver a cup to Eastlands. The Italian believes that if they manage to get their hands on some silverware this season it will have a snowball effect on the club’s fortunes. City face Aston Villa in the FA Cup, and then next week they play Dynamo Kiev in the first leg of their Europa League last-16 tie in Ukraine.

The former Inter boss said: “We have a big chance of winning something. The next 20 days are very important because we play tomorrow (Wednesday) against Aston Villa then the following week in the Europa League. If we win one trophy it will lead to more trophies. This is important for our team. When I accepted this job I knew it was difficult but it is a big challenge and I believe we can win a trophy.”

City head into the Villa game on the back of a lacklustre 1-1 home draw with Fulham on Sunday, and Mancini believes his players are feeling the strain of a tough fixture schedule both at home and abroad. “It is better we have all these games because it means we are still involved in every competition. Everything is important for us. But our problem is having players injured,” said the charismatic Italian. “When you play every three days you cannot work, only recover with perhaps a light session. Is it difficult motivating the players? We are tired here (in our heads) because when you play every three days and use the same players it is very difficult. This is a big problem but only this.”

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