It has emerged that Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini has entered the race with Chelsea to sign FC Barcelona star Sergio Busquets as he looks to take the Spaniard to the Etihad in January.

Spanish daily AS claims City owner Sheikh Mansour is ready to spend big in the New Year as manager Roberto Mancini looks to add steel to City’s midfield to compensate for the departure of Yaya Toure on African Cup of Nations duty.

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The Ivory coast international’s absence for the same tournament last year was keenly felt, coinciding with City’s FA Cup third-round exit at the hands of Manchester United, their two-legged Carling Cup semi-final loss to Liverpool, and a Premier League defeat at Everton.

Vastly experienced Spain international Busquets, 24, fits the bill perfectly, although Barca president Sandro Rossell will reportedly block any move for the club’s hard-working midfield destroyer. (The Metro)

Busquets is regarded as one of the best defensive midfielders in the world and was reportedly high on the list of Chelsea owner Roman Abramovic, but with City willing to pay way over the odds for the star. The blues boss might decide to switch his attention to another target.