Manchester City have confirmed they are willing to listen to offers for John Guidetti, Matija Nastasic, Micah Richards and Scott Sinclair.
The Premier League champions have been busy of late in tying their star players to new contracts, with Sergio Aguero, Vincent Kompany and David Silva all recently committing their long-term futures to the Etihad Stadium, whilst Edin Dzeko is next in line. However, some won’t be quite so lucky, as Manuel Pellegrini looks to offload before the window closes.
Amongst those who have been told they have no future in the blue half of Manchester is Richards, who was once touted as one of the brightest young players in the country. But since he burst onto the first-team scene for the Blues in 2005, he has seen a remarkable turnaround in the club’s fortunes and he has been unable to live up to that early promise.
The 26-year-old, who has 13 international caps for England, has played just nine league games during the past two years. Despite this, his age and previous displays of his ability are likely to alert rival clubs, especially as City have made it clear he is surplus to requirements and the fact that he is now inside the final 12 months of his current contract.
Another defender who Pellegrini has decided no longer features in his plans is Nastasic. The Serbian international enjoyed an impressive debut season in England, playing 21 times during the 2012-13 campaign, but he largely made way for Martin Demichelis last term as the Blues regained the title they won in 2011-12. Still only 21-years-old, the centre-half has in the past been linked with Arsenal, whilst Juventus are also thought to be keen.
Sinclair, meanwhile, was a surprise signing when he joined from Swansea City in the summer of 2012. The former Chelsea youngster featured just 11 times during his debut campaign and was loaned to West Bromwich Albion last season, when he fared even worse with just eight league outings under his belt. The 25-year-old still has two years remaining on his contract, but Pellegrini is unlikely to hold out for a significant fee for his signature.
Forward Guidetti once scored 20 goals in 23 Eredivisie matches during a loan spell at Feyenoord, and he has previously been tipped to make an impact in England. However, injury and illness has stunted his progress, not to mention the fierce competition for places at the Etihad Stadium, and the 22-year-old, who failed to register a goal in six matches during a temporary spell at Stoke City last term, is set to join the exodus.
“Matija needs to play,” Pellegrini said of Nastasic. “We already have important players here with four full-backs, Demichelis, Kompany, Eliaquim Mangala and Dedryck Boyata. So we will see in the next few days what happens with Nastasic. He is an important player, but he has offers and I think the best thing for him is to play. We will see what happens, but we have until the end of August to see what kind of offers we get for Matija.
“That also goes for Micah Richards, who didn’t want to continue here because he wants to play more. He had a contract to renew, but didn’t want it. So we have three or four players extra – Scott Sinclair and John Guidetti are also important players – but I don’t like to have so many in the squad. I think 22 players is enough and they are all players, who have a lot of quality.”
City, who have spent around £50million this summer on Mangala, Fernando and Willy Caballero, have already parted with five members of their first team squad in recent weeks. Gareth Barry has joined Everton on a permanent basis after he enjoyed a loan spell at the Merseyside club last season, Joleon Lescott has joined West Bromwich Albion on a free transfer, Sunderland have paid £8million for Jack Rodwell, and last week, Russian side Zenit St Petersburg completed the £12million capture of Spaniard Javi Garcia.
On the pitch, the champions got off to a fine start in their defence of the title when they recorded a 2-0 win against Newcastle United at St James’ Park. Silva opened the scoring in the first half after an impressive assist from Dzeko, and then Aguero, on as a substitute during the second period, wrapped up the points with a smart finish late on.
“It was important to start with a win,” a naturally pleased Pellegrini told Sky Sports. “I think the players were both hungry and humble. We need both those things if we are going to continue winning titles and if we want to improve on what we did last year. It was so important to me that the players had that attitude from the beginning to the end of the game.”