Roy Hodgson has confirmed that Joe Hart, who we revealed this morning is putting in overtime to win his place back at City, will remain England’s number one. Hodgson, though, admitted he is “duty-bound to look at one of the other two goalkeepers”, so Joe will be rotated in the friendlies against Chile and Germany. James Milner is the only other City player called up for the Three Lions, with neither Lescott or Richards selected again.
Alvaro Negredo and Jesus Navas have been called up by Spain coach Vicente del Bosque for their friendlies against Equatorial Guinea and South Africa, but conspicuous by his absence is the magician David Silva. Silva has been in sublime form lately which begs the question of whether his absence is linked to the knock he picked up against CSKA. Spain are known for resting players, though, so this could be a technical choice to give others a chance.
While most will be able to relax a little with friendlies, Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy have a hugely important couple of games for France. The City duo have been called up by Les Bleus coach Didier Deschamps for the two-legged tie against Ukraine where the winners will be off to Brazil and the 2014 World Cup.
Sergio Aguero and Pablo Zabaleta are both in Argentina’s squad for friendlies against Ecuador and Bosnia-Herzegovina on the upcoming break. We could see the two come up against City team-mate Edin Dzeko, who is in the Bosnia squad that will face Argentina at St. Louis’ Busch Stadium.
Yaya Toure can help send the Ivory Coast to the World Cup when they face Senegal on the 16th in Casablanca. The Elephants are 3-1 up going into the second leg of what is a World Cup playoff and are a good bet to qualify for what could be Yaya’s third and final World Cup unless he prolongs an international career that has been rumoured to end for a while now.
Kompany won’t be called up by Belgium after coach Marc Wilmots admitted it is for the best that he remain in Manchester to concentrate on regaining full fitness. Kompany was supposed to return following the last international break, but setbacks and complications continue to deprive the Premier League of its finest defender.
City have been linked with many goalkeepers of late, but they aren’t all established names. Take Francesco Bardi for example, the 21-year-old keeper on loan at Livorno from Inter Milan and linked to the Blues previously, but now with a little more substance to the rumour.
Livorno president Aldo Spinelli revealed to Tuttosport today that City, as well as United and several other clubs, are watching Italy U21 keeper Bardi “every week” and are impressed by what they see.
Bardi has huge potential, but has been farmed out because Inter have the world class Samir Handanović between the sticks – a similar situation to the outstanding Thibaut Courtois, now in his third season on loan at Atlético Madrid because Petr Cech remains a top quality goalkeeper for Chelsea.
17-year-old Gabriel Almeida quit City’s youth system in August to much press, with reports that he was making the controversial jump to United.
The proposed move to United did not work out as he had hoped, and from there he headed south to London for a stint at West Ham. That too didn’t pan out and now he is heading home.
Almeida has bid farewell to England and signed for Corinthians in his homeland. Good luck to him.
If you missed it earlier, Sheikh Mansour spoke at length about his club yesterday. You can find one of the only English translations of what he said here on the blog.
If Carlsberg did owners…