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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 18 June 2018

Pep Guardiola considering leaving Man City fringe players at home

Joe Hart, Eliaquim Mangala, Samir Nasri and Wilfried Bony will discover this week if they are to be omitted from the Manchester City squad for their pre-season tour of the United States.

Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy shares a joke with Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola during the pro-am at the Irish Open.
Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy shares a joke with Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola during the pro-am at the Irish Open.

Joe Hart, Eliaquim Mangala, Samir Nasri and Wilfried Bony will discover this week if they are to be omitted from the Manchester City squad for their pre-season tour of the United States.

The long-serving goalkeeper and the three expensive signings could be left behind by Pep Guardiola in decisions that that would probably be interpreted as damning judgments on four players who have fallen from favour in his reign.

But City are also conscious that taking them to North America could cause complications if they then had to have talks with or medicals at European clubs and may decide others, particularly young players, would benefit more from the experience.

All four were loaned out last season, with Hart joining Torino, Mangala playing for Valencia, Nasri spending the campaign with Sevilla and Bony moving to Stoke City.

But City are eager to sell each now rather than sanctioning more short-term deals, which could involve them subsidising their wages to play elsewhere.

Mangala has been linked with Lyon and Bony with Marseille while Hart has attracted interest from Newcastle United.

Hart perhaps has the best case to join the tour party as, despite signing Ederson, City are short of available goalkeepers with Willy Caballero released, Angus Gunn on loan at Norwich City and Claudio Bravo having been involved in the Confederations Cup.

Guardiola is an admirer of Aro Muric, an 18-year-old Swiss youth international, while the 19-year-old Norwegian Kjetil Haug is another potential understudy for Ederson, but the manager has yet to confirm which players who he will take to the United States.

The Catalan has already said that he is keen to see some of City’s academy products on tour and Pablo Maffeo, Tosin Adarabioyo, Brahim Diaz, Phil Foden and Jadon Sancho are the likeliest to make the plane.

Maffeo, who has made three first-team appearances, is a logical candidate after both senior right-backs, Pablo Zabaleta and Bacary Sagna, left while centre-back Adarabioyo signed a new contract in June.

Midfielders Foden, Diaz and Sancho helped City reach the FA Youth Cup final last season and are regarded as three of the brightest talents in the club’s Elite Development Squad.

Foden, who comes from nearby Stockport, was named on the bench for the Uefa Champions League clash against Celtic when he was only 16.

City, who began pre-season training on Monday, fly to America on Monday July 17 and will face Manchester United in Houston, Real Madrid in Los Angeles and Tottenham Hotspur in Nashville in the International Champions Cup.

They should be strengthened before then with the possibility that the free-transfer capture of Dani Alves could be completed this week.

City were unconcerned by reports in France that Paris Saint-Germain were hijacking their move for Alves, who got married in Ibiza at the weekend and the former Barcelona defender, who left Juventus after his contract was cancelled, should become their third summer addition.

However, while interest in Monaco left-back Benjamin Mendy, Tottenham right-back Kyle Walker and Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez continues, the Brazilian may be the only other new addition before they leave England.

City have already wrapped up deals for Benfica goalkeeper Ederson and Monaco midfielder Bernardo Silva but the latter will not be available for the start of pre-season after figuring for Portugal in the Confederations Cup.

Kelechi Iheanacho may not be joining the City group in the United States. The 20-year-old Nigerian could be on the move to Leicester City, though a deal is not yet finalised and the forward has attracted interest from other clubs.

Midfielder Fabian Delph, who is a target for Stoke, and winger Nolito are others who might leave this summer.

Manchester City transfers:

OUTS
Pablo Zabaleta, Bacary Sagna, Gael Clichy, Willy Caballero and Jesus Navas (all released)

INS
Ederson (Benfica) £34.7m, Bernardo Silva (Monaco) £43m 

ON THEIR WAY OUT?
Joe Hart, Eliaquim Mangala, Samir Nasri, Wilfried Bony, Fabian Delph, Nolito and Kelechi Iheanacho

ON THEIR WAY IN?
Dani Alves (Juventus), Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal)