Manchester City latest: Toure's future addressed, Zabaleta on why Chelsea have edge

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Manuel Pellegrini has hit back at claims that Manchester City plan to sell Yaya Toure, insisting that the topic shouldn’t even be discussed.

Reports have suggested that the Premier League champions are looking to cash in on the midfielder in January following his sending off in Wednesday’s 2-1 Champions League defeat to CSKA Moscow which compounded his slow start to the season.

Manager Pellegrini has suggested, however, that such stories were designed by other clubs in an attempt to destabilise City’s title ambitions, telling his press conference: "There must be a lot of reports telling that Yaya will be sold.

“Maybe all the other teams want Manchester City to be a weaker team. Yaya is a very important player.

"He played very well in the first half [against CSKA Moscow] and he scored a goal. In the second half he made a mistake and he was sent off but I am sure nobody at the club is talking about selling Yaya Toure so maybe that news comes from other teams to see our team weaker."

City’s home loss to CSKA leaves them bottom of their Champions League, with two points from their four games and on the brink of elimination, but Pellegrini maintains that he does not feel under pressure.

“I never feel pressure,” he said. “In my career, I have had 25 years managing teams and the only pressure I feel is my own pressure to return to play in the way I like this team to play, to play attractive football and be a winning team so all the other pressure.

"I don't read press, I don't have any other pressures. I don't feel external pressure in my whole career.

"I don't know if you can take conclusions when you have to play 28 games more. It is a lot of games. We are just in November. Maybe in November of last year we were in a worse position in the Premier League."

City will be looking to bounce back from the midweek disaster with a win at QPR on Saturday, but the club will be without captain Vincent Kompany due to a calf injury.

“It is not so serious to be a long injury, but I don’t know if he will be ready for his national squad,” Pellegrini said. “Maybe not.

“The next days we will know more about that and get the doctors’ opinion. In this moment, it is difficult to say, but it is not very important.”

Loanee Frank Lampard could return, however, after missing the past four games with a thigh problem, and the Chilean is eager to have the veteran back.

“You always miss something when a player is injured,” he said. “A player of the quality of Frank Lampard more.

“He is just coming back from his injury. He displayed before his injury that he is complete player.

“He is 36 years old, but he is very useful for our team. I hope he will return in the same way he was before the injury.”

Anything less than a win on the weekend could see City slip further behind leaders Chelsea in the title race, and Pablo Zabaleta believes it’s their rivals' excellent summer transfer business which has given them the edge thus far.

"The club [Manchester City] relies on professionals to decide the signings. Chelsea have signed good players who are working well, especially Cesc [Fabregas], who already knows the league very well,” he told IBTimes UK.

“But there is still a long way in the league to already think that Chelsea will be the champions.

"Every season after a World Cup the players are physically more tired. When you do not rest enough and you don't do a good pre-season it is difficult.

“Many of us arrived late and maybe you are not seeing the best shape from us. But the only way to get it back is to keep working."

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