City enter the FA Cup at lunchtime tomorrow with a third round clash against Blackburn at Ewood Park, a ground with some great memories for Blues. Around 7,000 City fans will make the trip tomorrow, barely less than the expected turnout of home fans.
Pellegrini has warned against complacency against a Championship club that has fallen on hard times, but will make changes with this one of the few upcoming fixtures where he can rest key players.
The continuing absence of squad players, though, means he probably can’t rest as many as he’d like. In addition to Aguero, whose recovery continues, Pellegrini is without Micah, Rodwell, Jovetic and Demichelis tomorrow.
Rodwell is the
old new old new name on the list, with Pellegrini saying he has a “small problem with his hamstring”. He didn’t clarify whether the midfielder suffered that in training or during his 6 minute cameo against Swansea. We live in hope that Jack can finally overcome these injuries soon, but for now they continue.
Possible City starting XI vs. Blackburn: Pantilimon, Boyata, Nastasic, Lescott, Clichy, Garcia, Fernandinho, Milner, Silva, Lopes, Dzeko
The Joleon Lescott saga could drag until the end of the transfer window, with more conflicting reports about his future.
The official stance from Pellegrini is that City want to hold on to the England defender, who the manager described as “very useful”, until the end of his contract in June.
Pellegrini did admit that circumstances could change in the transfer window, with a host of clubs keen on him including Turkish side Besiktas, who have confirmed their interest.
Some reports reckon that Lescott is happy to stay at City, while others claim he would like to leave to boost his chances of making England’s World Cup squad.
Spurs boss Tim Sherwood today denied that Spurs have made an approach for the 31-year-old.
Another talking point at Pellegrini’s presser today was John Guidetti.
Pellegrini said that the Swede wasn’t involved at Swansea because of a small injury to his knee, but admitted that a loan move is the best option for him to build himself back up after 18 months out of the game.
Today’s Daily Mail speculated that he is close to joining Mark Hughes’ Stoke on loan, but that is just one of many possible destinations for the young striker.
Aleksander Kolarov reckons more game time is the reason for his improvement this season. The Serb has mostly been City’s number two left-back since Gael Clichy arrived, but has started 17 games this season, more than Clichy.
Kolarov, who has 3 goals and 3 assists so far this season, told the press:
“I am focused on working hard to improve every day.
“I am the same player I was last season and two or three seasons ago. I just didn’t play every game.
“I would play one game and then not play for two or three games. That made it difficult for me to find good form.
“Now I’m playing more often and I’m showing what I can do.”
Marcos Lopes may have a chance of being involved tomorrow and took to Twitter earlier to dispel rumours that his contract is up this year.
Unknown to just about everyone outside the club, the 18-year-old renewed his deal last summer and is here for the long haul.
Faour is said to be an enormous talent and has (unsurprisingly) been compared to Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
The 15-year-old told Fotbollskanalen:
“City is a great club with the best players in all age groups. I feel this is a perfect step for me to develop as a player.
“My whole family is moving [to Manchester] with me, which means a lot and is reassuring.
“I don’t really know how big the club’s expectations are for me, but they have said they believe in me. They want to build a team that is the best in the world and it’s great that I’ll be a part of this.”
Faour will play for the U18 (academy league) and U19 (UEFA Youth League) teams.
A member of Nigeria’s U17 World Cup winning side seems to get a mention in every City Summary, and here we go again…
According to reports from Nigeria, Chidiebere Nwakali has flown into England with his mother and brother to complete a move to City.
The versatile 17-year-old, who can play in several positions, will earn £300,000 in wages, fees and addons from the day he turns 18 on December 26.
With the usual work permit issues that accompany young signings from Africa, he is likely to be farmed out to Right to Dream in Ghana or one of City’s partner clubs in Europe.
Still no further updates on Kelechi Iheanacho after reports that the deal for him to join City was back on days ago.
His latest loan move to AGF Aarhus in Denmark was a disaster, with Abu, capped 4 times by Ghana, getting no game time largely due to injuries.
There was contact with clubs from the Swiss Super League in November, but no formal offer was made for his services.
Abu’s only success at club level since City signed him from Right to Dream has been with Strømsgodset in Norway, and a move back there could be an option.
Abu’s contract is due to expire in June and unless he leaves on a permanent deal this month, chances are City will release him with it becoming clear he won’t make it at the club.