Man City V Cardiff at Etihad Stadium : Match Preview

17 January 2014 03:01
Man City V Cardiff - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Pellegrini coy over transfer plans

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini remains guarded about his plans for the January transfer window.

Pellegrini has consistently refused to confirm or deny whether he might attempt to strengthen his star-studded squad this month as they chase glory in four competitions.

Southampton's highly-rated left-back Luke Shaw is one of the latest names to be linked with the Etihad Stadium but Pellegrini was coy when asked about the 18-year-old.

Pellegrini, speaking at a press conference, said: "No, no, no - I don't confirm about any names because we are not concerned about that in this moment.

"We are just thinking about Cardiff tomorrow and not in the winter transfer window.

"During the whole of January we will see what happens, all the clubs can do transfers but I am not interested in one name especially. I don't say nothing about it."

There have been numerous suggestions Pellegrini might be interested in bringing in extra defensive cover.

That could be a stumbling block to the potential departure of Joleon Lescott, although Pellegrini has publicly maintained he does not want the England centre-back to leave.

Lescott, who has fallen down the pecking order in the last two seasons, has been heavily linked with West Ham.

The 31-year-old is also out of contract at the end of the season but Pellegrini insists the situation has not changed from his point of view.

He said: "I repeat exactly the same answer, I am not talking about transfers at this moment because it is not our priority."

Key trio Vincent Kompany, David Silva and Yaya Toure are all back in contention for this weekend's home clash with Cardiff in the Barclays Premier League.

Pellegrini chose to rest them for the midweek FA Cup third-round replay over Blackburn, in the cases of Silva and Toure as a precaution because of niggling injuries.

Striker Sergio Aguero, who came off the bench to score in the 5-0 rout of Blackburn after eight games out, is in contention but could again be among the substitutes.

Fellow forward Stevan Jovetic, whose City career is yet to begin in earnest due to injuries and illness, could figure against West Ham in the Capital One Cup next Tuesday.

City travel to Upton Park for the second leg of their semi-final leading 6-0 on aggregate.

Pellegrini said: "Stevan Jovetic is close to a comeback but is not ready.

"He is not in the squad because he is not ready for this match but maybe next week he will be fit."

Cardiff boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer does not believe the balance of football power in Manchester has shifted from United to City.

Solskjaer is preparing to take his Bluebirds team to the Etihad Stadium, with Manuel Pellegrini's City side still chasing a potential trophy quadruple.

Solskjaer enjoyed an illustrious 11-year playing career with rivals United, along the way helping the Red Devils to a memorable Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League treble in 1999.

But United have found it difficult to adjust since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson in the summer, while the investment of Sheikh Mansour's millions has turned City into one of the powerhouses of the English game.

But Solskjaer is not of the opinion City will hold sway over their rivals in the long term.

"The situation in Manchester has not changed permanently," he said. "We are talking about last year's champions in United and they will be around the top of the league come May.

"The progress at City shows what money does to a football club. When you have got money to invest in the structure and the players. They have got owners who want to be successful."

The Bluebirds are a little way off the top 10 at present, having dropped into the relegation zone for the first time this season following last weekend's 2-0 home defeat to West Ham.

A trip to the Etihad appears to hold little prospect of a positive result given City's awesome form on home turf.

Pellegrini's men have won all 10 of their league games there, racking up 38 goals in total.

The Citizens will also bring up a century of goals in all competitions this term should they score against Cardiff.

But Solskjaer expects his players, who beat City 3-2 in Cardiff earlier in the season, to meet the challenge head-on.

"We are not daunted by the challenge, we are relishing it," he said.

Cardiff are set to be without Andrew Taylor and Jordon Mutch. Taylor has an ankle problem, while Mutch is also sidelined by injury, but Craig Bellamy could start against his old club after making an impact off the bench against West Ham last week.

Solskjaer also has to decide whether to hand first starts to new signings Magnus Wolff Eikrem and Mats Moller Daehli.

Source: PA