City will be without Aguero, Jovetic, Rodwell, Richards and Navas for tomorrow’s semi final first leg against West Ham. The new name on that list is Navas, but thankfully it’s just a minor knock and his absence is a precaution.
Richards is now fit again according to Pellegrini, but “needs to work more” so won’t be involved. The good news is that Martin Demichelis is back in the squad and available tomorrow after a spell on the sidelines. City now have four central defenders to choose from again, with Kompany, Demichelis, Nastasic and Lescott all fit.
As City fans continue to ask #WheresJovetic, Pellegrini again said today that the 24-year-old will be back in January… but wouldn’t commit to an exact date. The mystery continues…
Pellegrini also further spoke more of Aguero’s progress, saying the Argentine now back in training and isn’t far off a return. As we revealed yesterday, there is a chance he could play some part in the replay against Blackburn.
Marcos Lopes will again be part of the squad after being named a substitute against Blackburn. The prodigious 18-year-old is pushing for first team football despite his young age and the fierce competition in City’s attacking ranks, showing just how highly regarded he is at City.
Expect City to field a pretty strong team tomorrow, especially with our next game coming on Sunday (meaning an extra day of rest). It has been a long time since the players have been able to have any sort of extended rest, but City are close to another cup final and with West Ham also hit by injuries there is a chance to build a big lead in tomorrow’s first leg.
Possible City team vs. West Ham: Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Demichelis, Kompany, Kolarov, Fernandinho, Yaya, Milner, Silva, Nasri, Negredo
Pellegrini was again quizzed about City’s transfer activity in the January window.
He has been coy when questioned, but admitted today that City could do some business, while stressing there was no urgency to close any deals.
The City boss said: “We are looking at two or three things, but it’s not important right now.”
Mundo Deportivo in Spain reported today that the 17-year-old Nigerian is in Barcelona (photo of him there above) after City chiefs Ferran Soriano and Txiki Begiristain had him flown there while City work on getting him a UK visa.
Soriano and Txiki are said to have used their contacts to get Kelechi and his father James to Barcelona, even involving Spain’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, José García-Margallo. Now that’s influence!
Indications are that City want a work permit for him now so that they can get him involved immediately, rather than having to farm him out for a while.
Should the transfer be confirmed, Iheanacho will be the latest high-level youth prospect to join City, following recent recruits Brahim Abdelkader Diaz, Zacharias Faour and Kjetil Haug. Iheanacho’s U17 World Cup winning team-mate Chidiebere Nwakali is also set to join City, according to reports.
City will have some of the world’s best young talent to join some very gifted young local lads in the groundbreaking new City Football Academy, which opens this year at the Etihad Campus.
Fulham are the latest club to register an interest in Joleon Lescott, according to the Daily Mirror, while talkSPORT reports Aston Villa have also joined the chase for the 31-year-old.
Lescott is wanted by numerous other clubs and West Ham have made a lucrative offer to the 31-year-old.
City have the final say on Lescott’s future. With Pellegrini admitting City are looking at a few players, if one of them is a defender and signed, that could free up Lescott to move.
City EDS defender Ellis Plummer has returned to City after a disappointing loan spell at League One side Oldham Athletic.
19-year-old Plummer, a former England U16 and U17 international, was said to have been very poor in his performances for the Latics and ended up on the subs bench.
His loan move to Oldham becomes the second to end in disappointment this season, after Albert Rusnak struggled to settle there.
City and Oldham have a good relationship so expect more loan deals to happen, despite several failures.
Italian duo Luca Scapuzzi and Andreas Mancini also failed to impress on loan there from City in the 2011/12 season, but Reece Wabara’s spell at Boundary Park last season was a big success.