Pellegrini confirmed at his press conference today that Kompany has traveled with the team and could play a part tomorrow night in City’s first away game since the annual 1-0 loss at Sunderland.
There is no other injury news, other than what we already knew – Jovetic, Nastasic and Silva are still out, but as we revealed this morning, Silva’s recovery is going better than expected and he has an outside chance of playing against Southampton this weekend.
City only won this fixture last season in injury time and this promises to be another tough away game. West Brom have already managed draws against Chelsea and Arsenal this season, and stunningly beat United at Old Trafford.
West Brom will be without tenacious midfielder Youssouf Mulumbu tomorrow after he picked up his fifth yellow card, triggering a suspension, but they have thrice-capped Argentine international midfielder Claudio Yacob who can step in and play the holding midfield role.
Samir Nasri’s renaissance is down to Pellegrini, according to his pal Yaya Toure. Nasri himself has praised the manager, who has rejuvenated a player that never seemed to flourish on a consistent basis in Mancini’s system.
Yaya, who was yesterday named BBC African Footballer of the Year for the first time in his career, told the press:
“When you look at him playing before at Arsenal he was unbelievable, he has this same freedom now.
“Pellegrini allows players like him to attack and enjoy this freedom and it’s fantastic for him and the club.
“You have to understand tactically that the first year was quite hard for him. He is such an offensive player and when you tell players like that to defend, it affects them, it’s not easy.
“But this year he is doing everything, he’s been amazing. I love him and I always enjoy playing alongside him.”
Manuel Pellegrini has ruled out selling Edin Dzeko in January after reported interest from Arsenal, Inter Milan and Borussia Dortmund.
Dzeko continues to play a peripheral role thanks to the astonishing form of “The Beast” Alvaro Negredo, but Pellegrini still rates him and certainly won’t sell him to Arsenal, who are legitimate rivals for the title now.
Stevan Jovetic has struggled with injuries since arriving and John Guidetti, barely back from a long injury, has never played a minute of Premier League football, so it’s no surprise Pellegrini wants to hold on to Dzeko for now.
A summer move is more likely if Dzeko continues his backup role, but for now the City boss hopes to keep hold of the Bosnian:
“No, that is not the case [Dzeko leaving]. I put my trust in him before the season and I have just as much trust in him now.
“It is very important for this club to have a good squad because we have a lot of games to play from now until April and, if we want to win trophies, we need important players.
“Maybe at the moment he is not playing as much as he would like, but he remains an important part of the squad.”
Micah is popular in the Italian media and is regularly linked with Serie A clubs. AC Milan, who did try to sign the City academy product not so long ago, are again said to be interested.
According to Milan-based newspaper Il Giorno, representatives of the 25-year-old have offered the player to Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani.
The Italian press likes a transfer rumour as much as the UK press, so there could be nothing to this. But Micah’s representatives have spoken to Milan in the past about the player, with Dario Canovi known to be an Italian representative of his.
A week ago it was reported that City were set to sign the MVP of the recent U17 World Cup, Kelechi Iheanacho.
There are no reports to suggest that deal is off, but the Premium Times in Nigeria today reports that City are in contention to sign one of his World Cup winning team-mates, Chidera Ezeh, who plays for River Lane Academy in his homeland of Nigeria.
16-year-old Ezeh is another attacking player who can play in a variety of roles including on the wing or as a second striker, and scored one of Nigeria’s three goals in their U17 World Cup semi final win over Sweden.
City aren’t without competition for his signature, though, with Liverpool having already made an offer. City are set to table their own offer, with Ezeh and his family flying over to Manchester to listen to it according to his agent Babawo Mohammed. Mohammed said:
“Yes we discussed with Liverpool in Abuja, they give us their terms. Although we have not yet signed with Liverpool, he (Chidera) is going to Manchester City to see what they want to offer so they can compare it with Liverpool’s offer.”
Liverpool have offered his academy £500,000 and will pay the 16-year-old £2,500-per-week until he is 18 should he choose to join them, terms City will likely have to match.
Chelsea rent-a-mouth manager Jose Mourinho has today tried to put pressure on City with another bland attempt at mind games. Mourinho claimed that with the squad City have, the pressure is on them to win the Premier League.
Perhaps City do have a better squad, but it might not be the case if Chelsea stopped loaning a full squad’s worth of players out every season, including the likes Romelu Lukaku, Victor Moses, Thibaut Courtois, Marko Marin, and Lucas Piazon.
Here is tomorrow’s Daily Star back page featuring Moaning Maureen’s comments.
If you’ve missed some of our recent stories, here is a selection of them:
– EXCLUSIVE: Scott Sinclair – the return (3/12)
– EXCLUSVE: Silva – an outside bet for Southampton (3/12)
– City set to sign Brahim, the boy compared to Messi (2/12)
– EXCLUSIVE: Guidetti can take his pick of NINE clubs (28/11)
Speaking of Brahim, he departed Málaga today with a companion, and left no doubt as to his destination: