The City Summary (January 26, 2014)

City today discovered that they will face Chelsea in the FA Cup 5th Round, one of two huge matches drawn out of the bag (the other being Arsenal vs. Liverpool).

The good news is that this will take place at Fortress Etihad, where City have been so strong this season.

The bad news is that it falls just before the Barcelona home game and City would ideally have liked to make wholesale changes, but if they do that now it risks an FA Cup exit.

The English powers-that-be have often been criticised for not helping out their teams in Europe, but will surely have to put this game on the Saturday (February 15), or else City will be playing Chelsea on Sunday (February 16) and Barcelona on Tuesday (February 18).

Chelsea have no European game that week, so don’t have that worry and will be able to field their strongest side no matter what.

Either way, this is a season of blockbuster games for City! And those on the FA Cup scheme are assured that tickets will be priced no more than £25 for the Chelsea game, as stipulated by the club.

Yaya Toure has admitted that he may quit international football after this year’s World Cup.

Yaya, who turns 31 in May, has been considering his international career for some time, especially after back-to-back African Cup of Nations tournaments in 2012 and 2013 meant City were without him for many important games.

The World Cup would be an ideal time for him to bow out and would mean he could skip the 2015 African Cup of Nations in Morocco.

Africa’s best footballer said:

“I will see what happens at the World Cup. It’s a very difficult decision and I want to do it at the right moment.

“I am thinking about it, but I haven’t decided when it will happen.

“I want to leave with a good name, in a good moment. The generation of players we have has always been regarded as something special, so we all want to give something good to remember.”

City are long-term admirers PSG and France midfielder Blaise Matuidi and according to Canal+ in France, have offered him a bumper £8m signing-on fee to snub PSG’s new contract offer and join the Blues on a free transfer next summer.

26-year-old Matuidi is an excellent holding midfielder who Carlo Ancelotti described as one of Europe’s best last season, and PSG’s president was recently adamant that he will sign a new deal.

It’s thought that some legal issues with his former agent are holding up the new contract and that City are using this time to try and convince him to swap Paris for Manchester, with wages of around £100,000-per-week said to be on offer.

Matuidi is very happy in Paris and it has been expected for a while now that he’ll stay, but City’s offer of a big signing-on fee, a good wage and playing in a superior league may tempt him.

City have dealt with his current agent, the notorious Mino Raiola, before, when signing and selling Mario Balotelli, and Txiki is reported to have been in dialogue with him.

Garcia has improved considerably lately, but City still rely too much on Yaya and Fernandinho, and the addition of a top level midfielder like Matuidi would give Pellegrini more options.

Another midfielder linked with City today is Benfica’s highly rated 20-year-old, André Gomes.

Benfica have just sold Gomes’ rights to super-agent Jorge Mendes for £12.5m, giving Mendes full power to sell the Portugal U21 international to another club this January.

A Bola names only City as a potential destination for Gomes, described as a technically excellent young prospect, while UK-based sources suggest he has been offered to Liverpool.

Gomes is not yet a regular for Benfica, playing mostly for their B team in Portugal’s Segunda Liga, and is a work in progress, so whoever signs him is likely to loan him out or put him into their reserve team.

City’s signing of Bruno Zuculini, another highly rated midfielder who will join in June, may limit their interest in a player of a similar age and position.

Two months ago I wrote an article on the FA Youth Cup winning side of 2007/08.

One of the stars of that team was Vladimir Weiss, who City staff and fans had huge hopes for. But at the age of 24, the Slovakian winger is becoming something of a journeyman and his latest move has left many startled.

Weiss has been a regular this season for Greek champions Olympiacos, who have just signed Abdisalam Ibrahim from City, even playing regularly in the Champions League and scoring a wonder goal against PSG.

Yet he has made the strange choice to join Qatari side Lekhwiya SC. No doubt the money will be good there, but at 24 surely he should be wanting to play in Europe and in the Champions League.



The City Summary (January 20, 2014)

Stevan Jovetic and Jack Rodwell both trained normally today and are in the provisional squad to face West Ham at Upton Park tomorrow.

City are 6-0 up from the first leg and unless the most incredible of all “Typical City” moments occurs tomorrow, the Blues are heading to Wembley for the Capital One Cup final.

This gives Pellegrini the opportunity to rest whoever he wants as City’s non-stop fixture pile-up continues, and could mean starts or at least appearances off the bench for Jovetic and Rodwell.

Pellegrini hasn’t given any official update today on who might play or miss out tomorrow, but Marcos Lopes also trained with the first team today so could again be involved.

Micah Richards trained separately and is suffering some stiffness in a leg, nothing serious but the same problem that kept him out on Saturday.

With Sam Allardyce admitting West Ham will field pretty much a full strength team, Pellegrini may risk City’s incredible unbeaten streak of 17 games if he significantly weakens the team.

But with a 6-0 lead and huge games against Spurs and Chelsea on the horizon, it would be worthwhile gamble to keep some of our overworked players fresh.

Turkish news source NTV Spor released some (alleged) quotes today from Joleon Lescott where he (allegedly) said: “I want to play football and join Besiktas.”

Besiktas were the first team to be linked with Lescott in the January transfer window, but these quotes seemed out of character from a man who has been a perfect professional at City.

The Turkish media have a tendency to exaggerate or blatantly lie, as we saw when Kolo Toure was supposed to be leaving City for two or three Turkish sides, but didn’t.

So it’s no surprise that Lescott’s representatives have quickly come out and confirmed he never made those comments.

It isn’t out of the question that Lescott could still leave this month, but if he does it will most likely be to a Premier League side, with West Ham having already offered him a lucrative financial package if City sanction his departure.

Harry Bunn has ended his 13 year association with City by joining Huddersfield Town on a permanent basis.

The 21-year-old striker has been on loan at Huddersfield and playing for their U21 team, but he and City reached a mutual agreement to terminate his contract, allowing him to join the Championship side permanently until the end of the season.

Bunn, son of former City reserve team coach Frankie Bunn (who now works at Huddersfield with another ex-City coach Steve Eyre), was a very prolific goal scorer for City’s youth teams.

He hasn’t yet been able to reproduce his youth record at senior level during several loan moves, but has a long career ahead of him and we wish him the best of luck.

Inter Milan are keen on promising City defender Karim Rekik, according to Sky Italia transfer master Gianluca Di Marzio.

The Serie A club sent scouts to watch both Rekik and Memphis Depay play for PSV against Ajax yesterday, a game PSV narrowly lost 1-0.

19-year-old Rekik is one of City’s best youth prospects and is very highly regarded by City chiefs, particularly Patrick Vieira who said in 2012 it would be a failure if Rekik doesn’t make it at City.

Rekik has played well for PSV, despite the club struggling after a promising start to the season, and has even captained them.

He was called up for the Dutch senior national team last August, but an injury that required surgery deprived him of what could have been a first cap.

Despite Inter’s interest, City are unlikely to entertain offers for the Dutchman who has been with the club since he was 16.

Less than 24 hours after their narrow defeat to Real Madrid, City’s promising under-16 team was again in action today in the ALKASS International Cup against Japanese side Kashiwa Reysol.

City made wholesale changes again, with 14-year-old Brahim starting and setting up City’s first goal, scored by Joe Hardy.

In an eventful last 15 minutes, City won TWO penalties, the first of which was soft and saw Kashiwa’s goalkeeper sent off. Both penalties were scored by Ghanaian youngster Collins Tanor.

The match finished 3-0 to City and Barcelona’s win over Aspire Qatar sets up a mouthwatering match for 5th place on Wednesday between City and Barca. This is scheduled to kick off at 2:45pm GMT on Wednesday and will be streamed online.

If you missed our morning exclusive, City are on the trail of Sevilla left-back Alberto Moreno, and could challenge Real Madrid for the 19-year-old starlet.

Click here for more details on that, including Roberto Martinez’s opinion on the Spain international.

The City Summary (January 19, 2014)

Wolfsburg want to re-sign club legend Edin Dzeko from City as part of an ambitious recruitment campaign, according to Die Welt in Germany.

Backed by the millions of Volkswagen, Wolfsburg have been known as one of the Bundesliga’s big spenders, with heavy net spend every year.

Some bad investments have seen the 2008/09 German champions fall out of contention in recent years, but the £17m signing of Brazil midfielder Luis Gustavo from Bayern Munich in August followed by £17m signing of Kevin De Bruyne from Chelsea this month shows they mean business again.

Now, according to Die Welt, they have Dzeko in their sights, the man who scored 85 goals in 142 games before City splashed out £27m for him over three years ago. Wolfsburg want a return to the Champions League and feel that Dzeko up front could help the cause.

It’s hard to see City sanctioning the January sale of Dzeko, who is in the best form of his City career and looks very happy. Letting an in-form striker go now would threaten City’s push for four trophies and with Jovetic yet to prove his fitness, there would be the risk of just two available strikers in the tough months to come.

Next summer could be a different story. Dzeko will have just 12 months left on his deal come June and City will either have to sell him or offer him a new contract.

If Dzeko continues to play like he has been and fully accepts Pellegrini’s rotation system, a new contract may be on the cards. Otherwise, the likes of Arsenal, Inter, Borussia Dortmund and Wolfsburg could bid for the striker and City may have to let him go.

City have completed the signing of Nigeria U17 World Cup winner Chidiebere Nwakali, who follows Kelechi Iheanacho from that talented squad to join City.

The move was confirmed by Nwakali’s agent, Babawo Mohammed, and as you can see below the 17-year-old, who can play in midfield or at right-back, has already been to Manchester where he passed a medical and signed his papers.


Nwakali has signed a 4-year deal according to his agent, but it wasn’t specified whether he can join before his 18th birthday or whether he has a pre-contract until then like Iheanacho was reported to have.

Reports claim that Nwakali could join up with City’s under-18 team soon, assuming he is able to get a work permit. Of last reports, City were trying to get a work permit from the Home Office for Iheanacho.

Another member of Nigeria’s U17 squad who was linked with City, Chidera Eze, is joining FC Porto. Near enough every member of the squad that dominated last year’s U17 World Cup is being snapped up by a European side.

If City can fend off competition, the “Nigerian Neymar” Musa Yahaya could make it a hat-trick of Nigerian signings for the Blues. Rumour has it, though, that Real Madrid have entered the race with City and Spurs for this particular starlet…

After winning their group at the ALKASS International Cup tournament, City’s U16s came up against Real Madrid’s U16s earlier today.

This was a high quality game between two good academy teams, but City didn’t play with the same fluency as in previous games. This could be down to fatigue setting in, with little time to rest between games, or the higher level of opposition.

It was a close match that remained 0-0 for the majority. Both teams wasted glorious chances, with Zackarias Faour, one of City’s best players in this competition, having a real off day and missing a handful of good openings.

Once again, young Spanish midfielder Manu Garcia stood out for City with his superb passing range and vision. Garcia is able to cut open defences from deep positions with just one pass and did so several times.

Local boy Will Patching also looked good again when on the ball, but wasn’t as involved as in previous games.

Unfortunately, City squandered their chances to win a game that Real Madrid slightly edged, and were ropey at the back, something that was finally exploited late on when Real pounced on a mistake by Demeaco Duhaney and scored.

It finished 1-0 to Real Madrid after they survived a late onslaught from the boy Blues, but City can again be proud of this talented young U16 team that has great potential.

The competition isn’t over yet, with losing teams set to face each other, and City play Japanese side Kashiwa Reysol tomorrow at 12:30pm GMT.

22-year-old City forward Alex Nimely has been charged with driving while under the influence of alcohol.

Nimely drove the wrong way down a one-way street and ended up smashing into several cars (and almost some people) as you can see here.

He isn’t the first young City player to make a stupid mistake, and this sort of reckless behaviour is something they’re trying to avoid with the younger age groups nowadays.

Nimely has been at City since 2008 and was seen as a good prospect, but his development has been hampered by regular injuries and he is expected to be released when his contract expires next summer.

The City Summary (January 14, 2014)

City will look to extend their incredible 15-match unbeaten run tomorrow when they host Blackburn in an FA Cup 3rd Round replay. This isn’t a game City wanted but brought it on themselves with a complacent performance at Ewood, which forced a week of warm weather training in the UAE to be cancelled.

The good news is that after a exactly a month on the sidelines, City hero Sergio Aguero returns to the squad. Chances are he will start on the bench, but as we revealed a week ago he could play some minutes ahead of the weekend game against Cardiff.

With Samir Nasri out for up to 2 months (Pellegrini said today he hopes it can be 5-6 weeks), City will again rely heavily on David Silva, but he is out of tomorrow’s game with a minor injury. Joining him on the sidelines is Yaya Toure, who has a back problem, but both are expected to be fit for the Cardiff game.

It hardly has to be said that both Jovetic and Rodwell remain unavailable for selection, however Jovetic should be back “next week” says the City boss. Notably, Pellegrini revealed Nastasic wasn’t injured at weekend but left out because a defender had to be excluded and Lescott was given the spot on the bench.

Pellegrini has the usual choice of how much to weaken his team after Blackburn gave City such a tough game at Ewood. City have not had a mid-week break for a long time so rotation is crucial. The return to fitness of Micah Richards is a boost and Portuguese starlet Marcos Lopes could find himself on the pitch again at some point tomorrow (and next week at West Ham).

If City win tomorrow, their 4th round fixture will be a rematch from last year’s 3rd round clash against Watford after the Hornets beat Bristol City tonight.

Possible City starting 11 vs. Blackburn: Pantilimon, Richards, Nastasic, Lescott, Clichy, Garcia, Fernandinho, Milner, Navas, Lopes, Dzeko

Rovers will bring 4,000 fans tomorrow, impressive for a mid-week cup replay on short notice. City’s ticket sales have also been better than expected, with parts of the third level opened after originally being closed for the game.

John Guidetti today completed a loan move to Stoke City for the rest of the season.

The deal has been on ice for a few days, but the permanent signing of former City midfielder Stephen Ireland freed up a loan spot for Guidetti.

This is the opportunity Guidetti has been waiting for, to try and prove himself at Premier League level. He did it at every age group for City’s youth team and did it in the Eredivisie for Feyenoord, now can he do it in the Premier League?

Stoke still have to play Chelsea, United and Arsenal this season… so do us a favour John and put a few past them!

After his horror tackle on Samir Nasri at weekend, Newcastle defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa says he has been trying to reach his fellow Frenchman by phone, but Nasri hasn’t answered.

Yanga-Mbiwa wants to apologise, but is claiming he didn’t mean to injure Samir, which isn’t a very convincing argument as he didn’t even target the ball as he repeatedly tried to bring Nasri down.

Yanga-Mbiwa says he will try again to contact Nasri and apologise for a foul that could have ruined the playmaker’s World Cup dream, but luckily will keep him out for less time than feared.

City continue to be strongly linked with Porto and France central defender Eliaquim Mangala, with France’s L’Equipe going as far as to claim City already have a 5-year contract written up for him.

Even if that is true, it doesn’t make this a done deal. As always, Porto want top dollar for one of their star players and with so much interest around Europe in Mangala, are holding out for around £41m.

22-year-old Mangala is a dominant and physical defender who is tailor made for the Premier League, but isn’t the finished product and such an investment would be in the hope that Mangala reaches his full potential.

If City were able to sign Mangala or any other central defender this month, it’d free Joleon Lescott to move elsewhere, with West Ham at the front of the queue.

Manchester City v CSKA Moscow - UEFA Champions League
Russian giants Zenit are still hopeful of a deal to sign City left-back Aleksander Kolarov, according to Russian news service Izvestia.

With Domenico Criscito poised to leave Zenit in the near future, Kolarov is their main target and they are reportedly willing to hand him a 4-year contract on similar to what he earns at City.

Italian clubs also like Kolarov, but the unwillingness of Serie A sides to spend heavily on transfer fees or wages could give Zenit the advantage, if Kolarov is actually available.

Kolarov has been a much improved player under Pellegrini with numerous assists from the left. The Daily Mail linked City with a £30m bid for 18-year-old Southampton left-back Luke Shaw a couple of days ago, but would selling Kolarov be wise?

Kolarov appears to be entering his prime as a player and is now Pellegrini’s preferred choice ahead of Clichy, but his £100,000-a-week wages are high for a left-back and his contract only has around 18 months remaining.

This gives City chiefs Soriano and Begiristain the dilemma of whether to keep the Serb or cash in on him and invest in a player like Shaw.

Abdisalam Ibrahim’s mooted transfer away from City appears to be close, with Sky Sports claiming it is now a race between Premier League side Swansea City and Greek champions Olympiacos for his services.

Dimitri Seluk, agent of Yaya Toure, was quoted in the Greek press as saying the 22-year-old midfielder could be heading to Olympiacos, where he would reunite with a fellow member of City’s 2007/08 FA Youth Cup winning squad, Vladimir Weiss.

Olympiacos face United in the next round of the Champions League, although Greek reports claim that if Olympiacos do sign Ibrahim they could loan him out for more experience.

Ibrahim has always said he’d prefer to stay in the Premier League, so if Swansea’s interest leads to an offer, that move could appeal to him more than playing in Greece.

FC Barcelona v Celtic FC - UEFA Champions League
City’s upcoming MLS franchise New York City FC are planning big things and the Telegraph reports that they could even move for Barcelona icon Xavi.

Xavi would be 35 when NYCFC debut and such a signing would be a huge statement of intent from the ambitious City-owned MLS club.

The New York Red Bulls also want to sign Xavi, but his representatives have, for now at least, cooled talk of any move. That doesn’t mean it won’t happen, but for now he has priorities such as facing City in the Champions League next month!

City chiefs want NYCFC to play a similar brand of technical and exciting football as City and building the team around Xavi Hernández would be a big step towards achieving that.

The City Summary (January 7, 2014)

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.”

The Kelechi Iheanacho saga could finally be set to end. The deal was done, then off, then maybe back on… and now appears to be all but complete, despite strong interest from across Europe.

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.

The City Summary (January 3, 2014)

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.

With the arrival of 2014, Swedish teen sensation Zacharias Faour has officially completed his move to City from Malmo FF.

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.

According to Ghanasoccernet, City are yet to find a new club for 22-year-old midfielder Mohammed Abu after a string of disappointing loan spells.

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.

The City Summary (December 29, 2013)

We’re exactly halfway through the Premier League season and City sit in second place, a very healthy position considering we dropped many points on the road and the players have been adjusting to Pellegrini’s style.


The second half of the season could be even tougher than the first, but the Blues look ready for any challenge. Fatigue and more injuries could be City’s worst enemies in the months to come.

City still have to visit the Emirates, Old Trafford, Anfield, White Hart Lane and Goodison Park while also focusing on other cup competitions including the Champions League double header against Barcelona.

January will put City’s improved away form to the test starting with a trip to Swansea – a ground where City haven’t won in two visits since the Welsh side were promoted. A much improved Newcastle from the one we battered 4-0 on the opening day is another away day on the horizon, as is Spurs who will want revenge for the hammering we gave them in November.

Just the one Premier League home game in January against Cardiff, which should be a routine victory unless their next manager has a magical effect. Outside of the Premier League is a trip to Blackburn in the FA Cup and the Capital One Cup semi final double header against West Ham. City should look to use their stellar home form and put the two-legged tie out of West Ham’s reach before the trip to Upton Park.

An exciting second half of the season awaits, that’s for sure!

January is near which means many transfer rumours. According to Simon Mullock of the Sunday Mirror, Pellegrini is happy with his squad despite City chiefs offering him money to spend. This contradicts some reliable sources who say City will be active in January.

Meanwhile, Goal is reporting today that Nemanja Matić of Benfica and Kurt Zouma of St. Etienne top City’s January wishlist, a list built around defensive players.

According to Goal, City are happy with their attacking talent and feel that Stevan Jovetić can be like a new signing if he stays fit.

The Zouma link isn’t new and we revealed in November that City had put an £11m offer on the table to his club. Chelsea have since made a superior offer, giving St. Etienne something to ponder, but City can compete for any player and could yet make an improved bid.

A bid for Matić featuring Garcia as a makeweight has already been reported by Sky Italia and today’s edition of The Sun has the same story – which could be old information or a sign of an improved part exchange offer in the making.

Matić has the right characteristics for the Premier League and is one of five midfielders profiled here as potential City recruits for the midfield. But like Zouma, he is fancied by Chelsea and there could be competition even if City step up their efforts.

Edin Dzeko, who has faced criticism from Shaun Goater in the last day, is being linked with yet another club.

This one has an added City-related twist with Corriere dello Sport reporting that AC Milan will move for Dzeko if they sell his former City team-mate Mario Balotelli.

Balotelli is again underperforming and not having a great season, leading to speculation he could be sold. CdS reckons Milan would use the funds to bid for Dzeko next summer.

Milan join rivals Inter, Borussia Dortmund and Valencia in being linked with Dzeko. Unless of a breathtaking offer, it seems unlikely that City will want to part ways with Dzeko in January.

Chidiebere Nwakali
As reported on Friday, City’s deal to sign U17 World Cup MVP Kelechi Iheanacho is close to collapsing.

No update on that one, but one of his team-mates from Nigeria’s U17 World Cup winning campaign is set to join City according to FCNaija.

17-year-old right-back Chidiebere Nwakali will fly to Manchester with his parents on January 2 to join City, hopefully with fewer complications than the Iheanacho deal.

Nwakali made 7 appearances in the U17 World Cup for Nigeria, scoring two goals. He is said to be a versatile player and switched between right-back, centre-back, defensive midfielder and attacking midfielder during the competition.

Earlier in December, a third member of the Nigeria U17 team, Chidera Ezeh, was said to be heading to Manchester for talks with the Blues after Liverpool also offered him a deal. There have been no updates on that, but it’s clear that City scouts were impressed by the Golden Eaglets!