This is slightly different to his current predicament on the City bench, with Joe likely to start the bigger friendly game against Germany next week and only stepping back so Hodgson can have a look at his other options in the lesser of the two friendlies.
Pellegrini is sure to have his eyes on that game to assess Joe’s performance after a spell on the sidelines at City. A good performance against the brilliant Germans may be enough to win him a recall to City’s starting 11.
Jesús Navas is enjoying life at City and not feeling any of the homesickness that plagued his career for so many years. Speaking on the Desmarcados radio show in Spain (translation via International Business Times), Navas talked of how things are going and the bizarre way the new arrivals are learning English:
“Manchester City does not intimidate me and neither does the squad. In Sevilla I also played big games. I feel an important player for City and I am happy.”
“I am a player who demands a lot to myself. I always want to get more. In the last few years at Sevilla we could not get titles and I wanted to grow as a player.
“I was used to win titles with Sevilla and Spain, I wanted to keep doing it and I had that option with Manchester City. They bet everything for me. I wanted to experience something new. What I got in Seville was unique, but I wanted a new challenge.
“We learn [English] with the Teletubbies! Is a little bit hard for me but is a unique opportunity to learn and I am trying.
“Pellegrini has welcomed me very well. He is a hard-worker, humble and simple. He likes his teams to have the ball and he has had success everywhere.
“I am very impressed about the Premier League rhythm. The games are very direct and the League is very competitive.”
Another day, another goalkeeper rumour. Tuttosport ran the big story today that City have asked for Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic as part of any deal that would take Edin Dzeko to the San Siro.
Backed by the millions of Indonesian businessman Erick Thohir, the Nerazzurri look set to spend to restore them to former heights and according to Italian reports see Dzeko as the heir to Diego Milito, who will leave the club in July.
This could be Tuttosport putting 1+1 together after reports the other day in Corriere dello Sport that City had been scouting Handanovic, or maybe there is something to it.
Handanovic is an outstanding goalkeeper, but were he to arrive it would more likely be as a Joe Hart replacement rather than a Joe Hart challenger.
Tutto Mercato Web claim in an “exclusive” today that City have made contact with the representatives of Argentine whizkid Juan Manuel Iturbe over a potential deal.
20-year-old Iturbe, who was given the dreaded “Next Messi” nickname a few years ago, struggled to live up to the hype after a high profile move to FC Porto in Portugal, and was loaned to Verona in Serie A this year.
Iturbe has turned out to be a sensation during his loan spell in Italy, with many big clubs now on alert. Porto are known as tough negotiators, but City’s way in here could be through Verona’s fixed option to buy Iturbe at the end of the season.
Supposing City were to follow up on their interest, Verona could buy the right-sided attacker next summer, then quickly sell him for a profit to City (just like how Atlético Madrid sold Martín Demichelis to City after signing him for free a couple of months earlier).
A snippet from yesterday when there was so little news we couldn’t even put together a City Summary! City EDS midfielder Emyr Huws has received a shock call-up to the Wales senior team after several big names pulled out with injuries.
Huws has been one of City’s better midfielders in the youth system since arriving from Swansea in 2009 and also made a good impression in one of May’s post-season friendlies against Chelsea.
Still, though, with a short loan spell at League Two side Northampton his only real experience at senior level, this call-up comes as a surprise, even to the player himself. He told City’s official site:
“Patrick [Vieira] took me aside on Wednesday morning and told me the news and I was shocked.”
“I’ve played a few games with the under-21s and I think I did well considering I haven’t been 100% fit this season – I had a problem with my metatarsal but I think that’s behind me now.
“It took a while to get back fully up to speed but now I’m feeling good, I’ve worked hard and I can’t wait to join up with the squad.”
Whether he plays or not in the friendly against Iceland, this will be a great experience for the 20-year-old who has just recovered from a metatarsal problem. It could also lead to interest from Football League clubs, with another loan move a possibility to continue his development.
This seems to be a good number so far, especially when you consider a £100 deposit is required to join the list, meaning there will be those unwilling to financially commit now but will want to before the expansion is finished.
The expansion will see a third tier added to one or both the South and North (Family) Stands, each with 6,000 new seats. A big number of the new season tickets will be just £299, the cheapest in the Premier League.
If the waiting list grows, the club will probably go ahead with plans to expand both sides immediately, rather than one now and another down the line. The waiting list is now open to all City fans after previously being limited by criteria.
Some recent articles on the blog for you to check out if the latest international break is boring you to death…
– City Stat Attack after 11 games (14/11)
– Yaya Toure vs. Rodney Marsh and the power of Twitter (13/11)
– Exclusive – Zouma – It’s on! (12/11)
– Richards – decision on his future (11/11)
– Karim Rekik: City’s great defensive hope by @TypicalBlueMoon (9/11)