City’s injury problems just go on and on and on. Whenever things seem to be improving on the injury front, more find themselves in the treatment room and Pellegrini has rarely been able to field his optimal starting 11 this season.
City will be without the quintet of Aguero, Jovetic, Nastasic, Zabaleta and Richards for tomorrow’s trip to Fulham.
It was thought that Nastasic and Jovetic could be available for this game, but Pellegrini confirmed at his presser today that neither will be ready.
There was some promising news about Zaba, though, with Pellegrini optimistic about a quick recovery:
“It is not so big, maybe Pablo will be back next week but the doctor has trust he will come back soon. Maybe one week more.”
For now there is a genuine crisis at right-back, and Pellegrini revealed his four-man shortlist to fill in: “We can play Clichy, Kolarov, Milner or Boyata.”
Though it’s hard to believe, Clichy is naturally right-footed and trained himself to use his left foot after breaking his right leg as a boy.
On the other hand, Kolarov is very left-footed, so would probably be better off kept on his natural side of the pitch.
If Milner isn’t the one given the right-back berth, Pellegrini could opt to play him on the right wing as added protection for the makeshift right-back.
Up front, Pellegrini can choose between Negredo and Dzeko. Negredo has been incredible at home (11 goals) but less prolific on the road (2 goals), whereas Dzeko has been our away day assassin (6 goals) with double his home tally (3 goals).
With those numbers in mind, Pellegrini may opt to stick with Dzeko who has performed well in his last two appearances and netted a brace against Leicester.
Possible starting 11 vs. Fulham: Pantilimon, Clichy, Kompany, Demichelis, Kolarov, Fernandinho, Yaya, Milner, Silva, Nasri, Dzeko
Fulham have no fresh injury concerns with just Brede Hangeland a long-term absentee.
Hugo Rodallega is back after two months out and Fulham are showing signs of improvement under former United assistant René Meulensteen.
Meulensteen had less than kind words about City a couple of years back while still in Stretford, words that it is rumoured fired up City players for their legendary comeback to win the Premier League.
Clichy is wary of the “new manager bounce”, something City know all about, a magical effect that suddenly causes underperforming teams to up their game.
“It’s really difficult to play a team who have been struggling and then bring in a new manager as the players all want to show something different.”
25-year-old Matic, who was let go by Chelsea as part of the David Luiz deal, has improved massively in recent years and become one of the most sought-after young midfielders in Europe.
His former club Chelsea are interested just two years after deeming him expendable, while City and PSG have also made their interest known.
According to Di Marzio, City offered a considerable sum plus Javi Garcia for the player Benfica rate at around £25m.
Garcia was signed from Benfica around 15 months ago, but hasn’t adapted too well to the fast and frenetic Premier League style.
Di Marzio reported that Benfica have rejected City’s offer as they want to keep hold of Matic for now. Garcia’s big wage increase upon joining City could also complicate any potential player-plus-cash deal.
City could yet go back for him, but PSG recently met with super-agent Jorge Mendes who is acting as an intermediary, and Chelsea may make a big effort for him if negotiations for Inter’s Fredy Guarín fall through.
Another day, another John Guidetti link, but today the striker is being linked with a much higher profile club.
Guidetti is a new name on the list of potential striker recruits for Inter Milan, according to Gazzetta dello Sport in Italy.
Inter have been tentatively linked with the 21-year-old in the past, like so many other clubs, but are in search of a new striker, with Dzeko another one thought to interest them.
Gazzetta didn’t reveal whether Inter would prefer a permanent or loan deal for the Swede.
Lawyers of City defender Martin Demichelis have confirmed that the player is taking legal action against former club Málaga over unpaid wages.
Demichelis left the La Liga club last summer when his contract expired, but they still owe him around €400,000 (£335,000) in wages.
His lawyers stated they would prefer a friendly solution to this situation and that Demichelis would not comment “to protect the image of a club that deserves respect”.
With City set to sign Nigerian starlet Kelechi Iheanacho, there remain questions over whether City can get a work permit for the prodigious 17-year-old.
Considering his exceptional ability and recent award as the best player at the U17 World Cup, City could make a case for him being a “special talent”, one way of obtaining a work permit.
But reports from Africa suggest that City may struggle for an immediate work permit and could instead send him to their partners in Ghana, Right to Dream, until he wins enough international caps for a permit.
Iheanacho could also be loaned to a European league with less stringent work permit laws. City have loaned many of their young African imports from Ghana to Strømsgodset in the Norwegian league.
Manuel Pellegrini is the 10th best paid coach in the world, according a new study by Pluri Consultoria.
Pellegrini is handsomely paid, but ranks behind many bosses of rival European clubs, such as the incredibly well paid Pep Guardiola, Jose Mourinho, Arsene Wenger, and football genius David Moyes.
But the biggest question after reading this list is, how on earth is Sam Allardyce the 13th best paid coach on the planet!?