Manchester City coach Roberto Mancini is hoping to sign a few new players over the next two weeks as he looks to strengthen the squad ahead of its Premier League title defense.

''We need to improve some positions because that is important, but it is difficult to say how many (new) players, maybe 2, 3, 1,'' Mancini told a news conference on Saturday during his club's Asian tour.

''We are talking to some players but the market is not easy. It's difficult and for this, we need more time...maybe in the next two weeks, we can do something about new players,'' he said.

He didn't elaborate but City has been linked with Arsenal captain Robin van Persie, who said earlier this month he would not extend his current contract. Local rival Manchester United and Italian giant Juventus are also keen on the Dutch striker, who was Arsenal's top scorer last season with 37 goals in all competitions.

Mancini said City will have to work very hard next season but ''we should believe in ourselves always.''

''If we think that now because we won one championship, okay now we are on the top, it's a mistake. It's a big mistake. We need to improve. We need to work hard... because we want to stay on top for a long time.''

City captain Vincent Kompany, who recently signed a six-year contract extension , was on the same wavelength as Mancini.

''For a team that has won the league the most important thing is that you start everything back from scratch. It's a new season, it's a new adventure... I guess the only message that needs to be put out to the team is that if we want to do it again, we'll have to work even harder,'' he said.

Fresh from beating Arsenal 2-0 on Friday in a pre-season game in Beijing, City will play another friendly with Malaysia on Monday. Its title defense begins at home to newly-promoted Southampton on Aug. 19.