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 16, 2014)

As revealed the other day by Pellegrini, Stevan Jovetic is finally due to return next week.

We’ve heard this before and many City fans are sceptical, but Jovetic’s own Instagram gives us reason to believe he could be involved against West Ham next Tuesday.


Jovetic last appeared for City on October 30 against Newcastle in the Capital One Cup, so it has been two and a half months since we last saw the 24-year-old.

The return of Jovetic, assuming he can stay fit this time, will be a huge boost for City. Not only does he add another attacking option, but he has a unique skill set and can play a variety of roles in the team.

As we revealed this morning, City are poised to offer the much improved Aleksander Kolarov a new contract in the near future.

Could Kolarov soon be joined by Southampton left-back Luke Shaw? Days ago, the Daily Mail reported that City were willing to splash out £30m for the talented 18-year-old Saints academy graduate.

Since then, Southampton’s ambitious chairman Nicola Cortese has quit and the national press reports that the club is in something of a crisis.

Now the Telegraph reckons City are prepared to enter a bidding war with United and Chelsea for Shaw, suggesting a fee of around £20m, and even claim the player could move within the next 7 days.

If Chelsea launch a bid for Shaw, they will be the favourites because Shaw is an admitted Chelsea fan and that could influence him.

City would also be left with the issue of having three left-backs if they signed Shaw now, unless they loaned him back to Southampton for the rest of the season or sold Clichy in a quick-fire deal.

City’s U16 team is currently competing at the ALKASS International Cup tournament in Doha, Qatar.

On day one, City came from behind to thrash Chicago Fire 6-1 with goals from Danny Barbir, Paolo Fernandes, Isaac Buckley-Ricketts (x2) and Zackarias Faour (x2).

Earlier today, the young Blues again came from behind (twice), including from 3-1 down, to beat Aspire Qatar 4-3 with an Aguero style last gasp goal at the death. Today’s goals came from Marcus Wood, Ernest Agyiri and Zackarias Faour (x2).

City have won their group and face the mighty Real Madrid in the next round on Sunday afternoon.

Having watched these games, I was impressed by the technical ability of these lads. The improvements in City’s academy system have been whispered about a lot with some saying City now set the national standard at younger age groups, but until you see the ability of these boys at you don’t realise just how big the improvements are from the days of Willo Flood, Dickson Etuhu and Stephen Jordan.

It’s unfair to hype players up too much at the ages of 14-16, but among the standouts so far have been Manu Garcia, Paolo Fernandes, Will Patching, Isaac Buckley-Ricketts and Ernest Agyiri.

The much talked about Brahim also looks a real diamond and despite only being 14, younger than most of the others, is a lively character not afraid of a tackle. His small frame and lack of physical strength have worked against him in some situations, but you can see the raw talent he has.

Then there is Zackarias Faour, the boy giving the unenviable label of “the new Ibrahimovic”. These labels are usually stupid and way off, but watching him play you can imagine Zlatan looked exactly the same when he was 15. Calm and composed, physically strong, technically excellent, and lethal in front of goal. Faour is the tournament’s leading scorer so far and netted this incredible golazo today.

City’s academy is on the rise again, but it was one of the older lads who was in the spotlight last night as 20-year-old Emyr Huws became the latest academy product to make his first team debut.

Huws has progressed a lot in the past year, thanks in part to a loan move to Northampton Town, and was recently an unused sub for the Welsh national team.

He came on against Blackburn and looked neat and tidy in the 15 or so minutes he played.

The next step for Huws could be a good loan move to a Championship club or similar, but perhaps depending on Jack Rodwell’s availability next week, he could make the squad for the West Ham cup game.

Happy 29th birthday to Pablo Zabaleta! Zaba knows nothing less than 100% and that has made him a City cult hero who will be remembered forever. Ohh, Pablo Zabaleta…