Daily Star: Lescott to replace Nastasic?
- 07 August 2013 08:59
- Posted by @porter_mcfc
Defenders dominate the City headlines this morning, with much speculation as to the identity of the Blues’ central defensive partnership when the season kicks off against Newcastle.
After we revealed yesterday that Matija Nastasic looks set to miss the next 4-6 weeks after suffering an ankle injury in Hong Kong, this morning’s papers run the rule over the likely alternative options.
The Daily Star reports that Manuel Pellegrini has been put off trying to sign a replacement in Real Madrid’s Pepe, and therefore Joleon Lescott looks set to win a starting berth when Newcastle visit the Etihad on 19 August.
Jeremy Cross writes: “Nastasic, 20, made a big impression at the Etihad Stadium following his move from Italian club Fiorentina last summer to emerge as one of the brightest stars in Europe.
“His absence could offer Joleon Lescott the chance to revive his fortunes at City, while Pellegrini may now make a fresh move to sign Real Madrid defender Pepe.
“Pellegrini, who is set to welcome back Sergio Aguero to full training following a knee injury, is keen on Pepe but has been put off by Real's £25m asking price for the Portugal star.”
However, another young centre back is keen to make his mark at City this season, and Nastasic’s absence could give Dedryck Boyata another chance to impress.
An assured performance against Bayern Munich in the Audi Cup gave the Belgian the perfect kick start to the season, and he aims to make the most of his opportunities.
The 22-year-old told the Manchester Evening News: “I had several discussions with the coach, and this year, from what he tells me, he believes in me a lot.
“From what I know, I will get my chance this year and I intend to work extra hard to grasp it, when I get the opportunities.
“Last year, it was very difficult, especially mentally. I think I was patient all year and now it is another season.”
Finally, Scott Sinclair is seeking a permanent move rather than a loan deal – that is, if a report in the Mirror is to be believed.
Although yesterday’s media round-up included the claims that the winger could be heading for a temporary switch to West Brom, James Nursey reports that Sinclair is keen to avoid another loan move.
He explains: “Former Chelsea trainee Sinclair had six loan spells earlier in his career - being farmed out to Plymouth, QPR, Charlton, Crystal Palace, Birmingham and Wigan - ideally want to avoid another loan and change clubs permanently.
“He still has three years left on a bumper deal at City following last summer's surprise move from Swansea and would need a pay-off to go.
“It means Sinclair, who has made just three starts and 12 sub appearances for the Blues, is in no rush to go to the Baggies on a temporary deal.”
Remember, nothing is confirmed until you read it here on mcfc.co.uk!