Manchester City latest: Including Chelsea build-up and Isco

All the latest news, views and transfer rumours from the Etihad…

While other Premier League players are already putting their feet up, those of Manchester City and Chelsea have a little more playing to do first. The two sides will play the first of two post-season friendlies in the USA tonight, with the game kicking off at 1:30am GMT in St Louis.

And while it is perhaps an unwanted epilogue to a tiring season, the City players will know that their next manager may be watching from afar. In light of such facts, taking your foot off the gas isn’t an option; at least not for those eager to impress.

The man likely to take the reins from temporary boss Brian Kidd is Manuel Pellegrini, a manager City’s Pablo Zabaleta is familiar with from his time at Argentinian club San Lorenzo.

The Chilean managed the first-team when Zabaleta was a junior at the club, and while he hasn’t yet played under him, he is excited by the prospect.

His way to play football is great,” the defender said. “Hopefully if he comes to City he can just carry on with his football.”

Following the manager’s announcement that he will be leaving Malaga at the end of the season, it seems more a case of when, not if, if he arrives in Manchester.

One player who has been tipped to join him, but who may now be heading elsewhere, is attacking midfielder Isco. The 21-year-old has been suggested as Pellegrini’s first summer signing. But reports from Spain say Real Madrid have now entered the race for his signature.

Malaga executive Francisco Martin Aguilar confirmed the link with Real by saying, “They are interested in him, but nothing is official yet.”

Suggesting that the playmaker is likely to move on this summer, he added, “It fills us with pride that a lad that has come through at Malaga to become the player he has. If he goes it will be to a big club and it will be to the benefit of the coffers of the club.”

With a €35million buy-out clause, it certainly will be.

image: © strollers

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