Manchester City weekend round-up: Nastasic concerns and £15m defender bid

All the news, views and transfer rumours from the Etihad this weekend…

Manuel Pellegrini won his first trophy as Manchester City manager when his side beat Sunderland 1-0 in the final of the Asia Trophy on Saturday.

The match was won by a single strike from Edin Dzeko after just nine minutes. It was the Bosnian’s second goal in two games, and proved to be the difference once more. Something he will be relieved about after missing a 68th-minute penalty.

But the pleasure in securing the win was tempered by an injury to Matija Nastasic.

The outstanding young defender was stretchered off in the second-half, becoming the second Premier League star to be injured on the surface following Jan Vertonghen’s ankle ligament injury last week.

However, Pellegrini has dismissed the notion that the rain-soaked pitch was to blame for his player’s injury.

The doctor has to see him when we arrive back in Manchester,” the manager said. “I am concerned but it’s better to wait.

It wasn’t the pitch, though. He’s got a kick on his ankle but it was just part of the game.”

New arrival Alvaro Negredo made his first start for his new club in Saturday’s match, and the former Sevilla player believes he is now in the prime of his career.

Now I am at the peak of my form,” he said. “Also this is another league and style of football and I am very confident I will succeed here – not just on an individual level but also in the group.”

City fans will certainly hope so, and they may not have seen the last of the summer arrivals, with continuing reports linking Pepe with a move to the Etihad.

The Real Madrid defender may be the final piece of the jigsaw after Pellegrini said the completion of his squad was “very near”.

If Nastasic’s injury is more serious than hoped, the arrival of a new centre-back will suddenly become even more important.

And if City can secure Pepe for the £15million being reported, it may be a savvy piece of business for a man seeking to build a squad that can challenge for every major honour immediately.

image: © jansolo09

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