Manchester City goalkeeper Shay Given is confident that the club’s recent ambitious activity in the transfer market will ensure that they are capable of launching a serious challenge for the Barclays Premier League title this season.
Roberto Mancini’s spending in the transfer market has already passed the £35m mark with the captures of Spain midfielder David Silva and Germany defender Jerome Boateng this summer.
The Eastlands outfit are expected to raise their £20m bid for England midfielder James Milner in the coming weeks, while the club have also been linked with expensive moves for Wolfsburg striker Edin Dzeko and Lazio full-back Aleksandar Kolarov.
Former manager Mark Hughes embarked upon a similar spending spree last summer when he signed Carlos Tevez, Emmanuel Adebayor and Joleon Lescott for large fees.
Following the sacking of Hughes in December last year, Mancini guided City to fifth in the league – one place short of the Champions League qualification spot that City’s wealthy owners so desperately want to achieve.
Given, who moved to City from Newcastle in February 2009, is sure that current boss Mancini will add even more players to his squad this summer to put the team on a par with the two clubs who have dominated the league over the last few years – Manchester United and Chelsea.
“Everyone knows from the signings that we have made this summer that we mean business,” said Given.
“The new owners are obviously ambitious. They want us to win trophies and challenge for the Premier League and we have a strong squad already.
“Boateng and Silva will add to that and will make us stronger. I think we’ll get a couple more players which will boost the ranks at the club and it’s an exciting time to be a player or a fan of Manchester City.
“Obviously we are not up there with the likes of Chelsea and Man United in terms of trophies on the mantelpiece, we have to catch up in that sense, but by the time we have put our whole squad together by the end of this window then we will have as good a squad as them which will hopefully mean that we will be able to challenge them.
“We want to win something this season. We have a good squad of players so there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be challenging for top honours.”
A 1-0 defeat to Spurs at Eastlands in the penultimate game of last season ensured that Harry Redknapp’s side beat City to the final Champions League qualification spot.
Given, who has played in the Champions League before with the Magpies, admits it would be a dream to qualify for Europe’s premier club competition with City this season.
“It would be fantastic if we qualified,” said the Republic of Ireland keeper.
“I have great memories from my time at Newcastle when I played Champions League football there.
“It would be fantastic for the fans as well to travel around Europe and play in some big nights.
“It’s where every team wants to be and we want to achieve that.”
Given missed the last three games of City’s campaign when he dislocated his left shoulder during the team’s goalless draw at Arsenal.
The 34-year-old, who had to undergo a three-hour operation to cure the problem, is confident that he will be fit for the start of the season.
“I missed the last few weeks of the season and had an operation on my shoulder,” said Given.
“Everything went well and I’ve been working hard all summer and I hope to be fit for the start of the season.
“I probably won’t be able to play all of the pre-season games but I should be going all guns blazing when the season starts.”