Mancini plans Ivory Coast plea

  • Last Updated: November 30 2012, 13:32 GMT

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini is hoping to persuade Ivory Coast not to select their three City players for the Africa Cup of Nations.

Yaya and Kolo Toure and Abdul Razak are all likely to feature in the Ivory Coast squad for the tournament in South Africa from 19 January to 10 February.

The trio's absence would leave Mancini short on numbers, although he is not sure if opting out is realistic.

He said: "If we lost Yaya and Kolo and maybe Abdul, who also has not played a lot of games here but maybe in January could be important if we have two or three players injured and we don't have other players....I hope that maybe they don't go in this competition.

"We talk and we need to talk more with their manager but it is difficult."

City are undefeated in the Premier League this season and just a point behind leaders Manchester United, but their performances have not been as convincing as last season.

Their Champions League campaign has also been another disappointment, with City failing to progress from the group stage for a second successive year.

Mancini joked that it may therefore be in City's interests for UEFA to expand the competition, as has been suggested.

He said: "Maybe with 64 (teams), we go on in the second stage! I say 'Thank you (Michel) Platini' - but I think he talks about three years' time."

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