After huge investment in the club Manchester City are strong contenders for the title this season [GALLO/GETTY] 

Manchester City revealed plans on Monday for a new training centre and academy on up to 80 acres of land
adjacent to their Etihad Stadium home.

The project is still in its early stages, with a planning application expected to be completed towards the end of the year.

The proposed complex will include a 7,000-seat stadium for youth matches, 15 full-size training pitches and on-site accommodation as well as training and study facilities for 40 young players.

City reveal on their website that 97 percent of the over 7,000 people who took part in a public consultation were in favour of the project which promises to create "around 160 jobs" during the construction period.

"Permanent employment at a range of levels for up to 90 people is also likely with up to 80 percent of positions being made available for local residents," the club said in a statement.

"It is important to also make clear that the development and recruitment of youth talent is at the heart of our long term strategy of building a successful and sustainable football club for the future"

Brian Marwood

City have become a major force in English and European football since being taken over by Sheikh Mansour's Abu Dhabi United Group in 2008.

They have spent vast amounts on bringing in world-class talent over the last three years, but say that they intend to shift the focus towards developing their own stars in the years to come.

"Manchester City has entered a new phase in the long term strategy set out by the Club's owner three years ago," the statement continued.

"At the heart of this strategy is the focus on the recruitment and development of young players and whilst the Club already has a strong pedigree of nurturing young talent, the limits of what can be achieved with the existing facilities has been reached."

City's chief football operations officer Brian Marwood added: "It is important to also make clear that the development and recruitment of youth talent is at the heart of our long term strategy of building a successful and sustainable football club for the future."

"The opportunity to build a world class facility supported by a well researched youth development plan would be a significant step in the realisation of that strategy."

Source: AFP