Jul 24, 2014

    City still seeking players for title defence


    ENGLISH champions Manchester City are still in the market for new signings to boost their title defence, manager Manuel Pellegrini said on Tuesday.

    He has already brought in Brazilian midfielder Fernando from Porto, French full-back Bacary Sagna from Arsenal and goalkeeper Willy Caballero from former club Malaga, but is not convinced his impressive pool is enough.

    "I don't think the squad is complete yet, but we have six weeks before the transfer window closes," the Chilean told reporters in Kansas ahead of their friendly against Sporting Kansas City.

    "Perhaps there is the option to bring one or more players in, or maybe one or two will leave our squad, but there is time for us to consider what is best for our team."

    Pellegrini's purchasing plans may have been changed after striker Alvaro Negredo suffered a broken foot in the friendly win over Scottish side Hearts on Friday.

    Pellegrini, who won the English Premier League title and the League Cup in his first season in England, said the powerful Spaniard had an operation on Tuesday and will be out for three months.

    A three-month absence would rule him out of the first nine games of City's Premier League title defence, as well as their first three Champions League group-phase fixtures.

    "Alvaro had surgery today on his broken foot and he will probably be out for two or three months," the former Real Madrid manager said.

    "It is a blow for us because Alvaro is a very important member of our squad, so obviously we will miss him."

    The Spain international enjoyed a successful debut campaign at the Etihad Stadium, scoring 23 goals in 48 games in all competitions, although his form tailed off towards the end of last season.

    On Monday, he expressed his fears about the extent of the injury on his Instagram account, writing: "I want to let you know that it's going to be hard for the next few months, I fractured my fifth metatarsal and will be out a few months. I will be back stronger than ever. I will return with a vengeance."

    City will face AC Milan, Liverpool and Olympiakos Piraeus on the United States tour, before returning for the English curtain raiser, the Community Shield, against FA Cup winners Arsenal on Aug 10.