Agüero, last season’s top scorer at the Etihad Stadium, was taken to hospital
last night for scans and is set to find out the full extent of the damage to
his right knee today after being injured following a challenge by
While Mancini conceded that Clyne’s challenge was fair, Agüero’s knee appeared to twist under the contact. The Argentine underwent lengthy treatment on the pitch and was able to walk off before being carried to the dressing room on a stretcher.
The club are hopeful the damage is not serious and Agüero went some way last night to allaying those fears.
He said on his Twitter account he had suffered a "very tough blow" to his knee and thanked the support he recieved as he stretchered from the field.
Mancini, however, is ready to move in the market if Agüero’s injury sidelines him for a lengthy period, which casts doubt over his move for £28million-rated Roma midfielder Daniele de Rossi.
“If it is a serious injury, we will probably change our plans,” Mancini said. “Maybe he is out for a week, or three or four weeks, or after the international break.
“We hope it is not serious, but at this stage I don’t know. I am worried, yes, but we don’t know yet. We need to wait for maybe two days for the scans. Usually an injury to the knee is always dangerous, this was strange.”
Efforts to lure De Rossi from Roma are understood to be ongoing, despite the
prohibitive price tag placed on the Italy midfielder by the Serie A club.
However, having missed out on Robin van Persie, who went to Manchester United, City could now renew interest in Napoli forward Edinson Cavani or Athletic Bilbao’s transfer-seeking striker Fernando Llorente should Agüero’s injury lead to a long-term lay-off.
Such an outcome could mean the interest in De Rossi is shelved in favour of adding a new forward, although Mancini dismissed the prospect of out-of-favour strikers Emmanuel Adebayor and Roque Santa Cruz being offered a reprieve at the Etihad.
There was also some concern yesterday over striker Mario Balotelli, who twisted a knee in the post-match warm down and was seen wincing. City sources played down his apparent pain, however.
England winger Adam Johnson was not even included on the substitutes’ bench against Southampton, so the 25 year-old is likely to leave City this month, with Sunderland edging ahead of Tottenham and Everton in the race to sign him after offering £10million.
Should Johnson leave, City are expected to sign the Swansea winger Scott Sinclair.
Despite City’s eventual victory, they struggled to impress against a Southampton side which was ending a seven-year Premier League exile.
City were forced to overturn a 2-1 second-half deficit to secure the victory, but Mancini insisted he was unconcerned by the flaws in his team’s performance.
Mancini said: “We had 20 minutes to the end when we went 2-1 behind, but when you play at the start of the season, it is always difficult.
“Also, we had 15 players away with the national teams in midweek, so only had the all of the players together on Saturday.”
Despite ending the game with nothing to show for their efforts, Southampton manager Nigel Adkins insisted that his players emerged with many positives.
“We’ve had successive promotions and are used to winning, but we know that it is going to be massively different this season,” Adkins said.
“We have come away from home to play the champions and we wanted to give ourselves a chance to win the game. Our defenders have played against the best forward line they have ever faced and I am proud of their performance today.”