Christmas is over but a fantastic month for City continued yesterday with our 2-1 win over Liverpool.
Football never sleeps so it’s time to wrap up events from recent days, starting with City’s injury situation going into tomorrow’s game against Palace.
Aguero, Jovetic, Micah and Demichelis all look set to miss the game through injury. The good news is that both Jovetic and Micah were doing fitness work on the Etihad pitch before yesterday’s game, meaning they can’t be far off returning.
Negredo limped off the pitch when replaced by Dzeko, but this is thought to be nothing serious, just a dead leg.
Zabaleta, who returned from a hamstring problem in record time, was also struggling at the end of the game, but this looked to be cramp rather than a recurrence.
Both Negredo and Zabaleta are expected to be rested tomorrow, begging the question of who will start at right-back again. Clichy struggled against Fulham and with Kolarov having started against Liverpool, may return to the left. Boyata could be given a chance, especially if Milner starts further forward.
Nastasic is back from injury and could start. With two games in 46 hours, Pellegrini is going to have to make changes, but some players will have to play again because it’s impossible to make 10 outfield changes in a league where even the strugglers can spring a surprise.
A win over Palace would complete one of the most stunning months in City history, which so far has seen 7 wins, 1 draw and 0 defeats despite a fixture pile-up and plethora of injuries.
Possible City team vs. Crystal Palace: Hart, Boyata, Kompany, Nastasic, Clichy, Fernandinho, Garcia, Milner, Silva, Navas, Dzeko
Vincent Kompany and Yaya Toure have been named in L’Equipe’s 2013 Team of the Year, the only two Premier League stars to feature in a team dominated by Bayern Munich players.
Yaya is having one of the most productive seasons of his career so far.
Edin Dzeko has another suitor according to Marca in Spain, with Valencia set to move for the Bosnian should billionaire Peter Lim’s takeover go through smoothly.
Dzeko is reported to be top of Valencia’s wishlist with the new owner willing to spend around £40m in January, and their new financial power could allow them to meet Dzeko’s wages of around £130,000-a-week.
Pellegrini would prefer to keep Dzeko who he rates and still has plans for, but City’s dilemma is that his contract has only 18 months left now and his value is only going to drop.
But with Aguero currently injured and Jovetic still trying to get fit after a barrage of muscle injuries, City may refuse to sanction the sale of Dzeko in January.
Marca claims that Valencia have made contact already, while Inter and Borussia Dortmund may rival any offer for the striker.
Iheanacho has already passed a medical in Madrid and signed a contract to join the Blues, but because of his age it can be torn up and that is exactly what could happen.
The 17-year-old and his family were “shocked” to learn that they would not receive any of their financial incentives until the Nigerian starlet turns 18.
City have agreed to pay his academy £300,000, the player £250,000, and his father £350,000, but reports suggest these bonuses would not be handed out until January 2015.
As a result of City’s stance, the player is now considering an alternative proposal from Portuguese giants FC Porto to join them.
City’s offer remains on the table, but Iheanacho and his family seem very money-driven and unless City budge on their stance they could miss out on the young forward.
Málaga sporting director Mario Husillos was in attendance at yesterday’s City vs. Liverpool clash and held talks with his friend Txiki Begiristain.
Málaga recently sold one of European football’s most exciting teen prospects, 14-year-old Brahim Abdelkader Diaz, to City, and Husillos is hoping for something in return.
A loan deal for John Guidetti appears to be Málaga’s main priority with Jovetic and Rodwell, two others Málaga like, unlikely to be made available.
According to the Daily Mail, City are pushing for a compensation fee of around £250,000 for midfielder Abdisalam Ibrahim, who has been told he can leave the club by Pellegrini.
22-year-old Ibrahim is out of contract next summer, but City hope to move him on in January according to the report.
Swansea, Everton, Southampton, QPR and Reading are among the English clubs rumoured to want him, but that is only a small selection of the clubs linked with the Norwegian.
City are exploring the possibility of another partner club in Europe, according to the Daily Mail.
City already have partnerships with 11 clubs in Europe and Africa, but are limited to Scandinavian clubs such as Strømsgodset when it comes to farming out youngsters from non-EU countries who can’t get a work permit.
So it would make sense if they struck a similar partnership with a club in a higher quality league, and the Mail reports that City are looking at Holland and Belgium for potential partnerships.
Not only would this give City a higher quality option for kids without work permits, but would allow them to send other youth players to a league of higher standard than the Swedish or Danish leagues.
The atmosphere was fantastic at last night’s game, but not only on the terraces! There was plenty of singing on the concourse, with the Zaba song quickly overtaking Kompany’s as the most popular song!