Manchester City latest: Iheanacho links increase as Kompany nears return

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

Despite being targeted by Arsenal and Manchester United, it seems Nigerian wonderkid Kelechi Iheanacho has chosen to sign for Manchester City. After impressing at the Under 17 World Cup, Iheanacho has been the hottest property on the market, and the player of the tournament now appears to have made his decision. Iheanacho's father, James, told of their impending move to England: "We prayed and, after talks with family members, we came up with Manchester City, believing he has a future there."

Stoke City chairman Peter Coates has played down speculation that City could move for Bosnian goalkeeper Asmir Begovic, with the shot stopper persistently linked with a switch to the Etihad Stadium. Joe Hart's dip in form has led manager Manuel Pellegrini to consider alternatives, and Begovic's impressive displays for the Potters may have caught his eye.

But Coates says the goalkeeper isn't leaving the club. "This latest story was certainly news to me and I suspect it is just a bit of speculation. That's my guess, anyway, and we have certainly had no approach. He is a top goalkeeper, so this kind of thing is going to happen. We are just concerned that he concentrates on playing for us and doing what he has been doing up to now.”

Midfield Samir Nasri says that he holds no grudge against former City boss Roberto Mancini, despite the Italian declaring that he “wanted to punch” the Frenchman. Nasri endured a difficult season last year, and his below par performances frustrated now-Galatasaray boss Mancini. But the former Arsenal man has taken responsibility for his poor displays, absolving Mancini of any blame.

"It was a tough season. In my head, I wasn't the same. I didn't play well for City and lost my spot in the squad and at the end of the year, I looked at my season and realised I was not myself."

And finally, Belgian defender Vincent Kompany has targeted December for his return to the side. The City captain has been sidelined with a thigh injury he sustained against Everton six weeks ago, and City's defence has been shaky ever since. With a busy Christmas and New Year schedule on the horizon, City will need their talismanic centre half to be back to full fitness as they look to close the gap on leaders Arsenal.

image: © geetarchurchy

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