Manchester City latest: Hart not guaranteed number one, Bulgarian teenager gets trial

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New deals for Hart and Milner close

Manchester City are close to announcing new contracts for Joe Hart and James Milner, boss Manuel Pellegrini has confirmed.

Speaking ahead of Saturday's Premier League clash with Leicester City, Pellegrini told reporters: "[Joe is] very close [to a new contract].

"As you know, Joe wants to stay here. We also want him to be our goalkeeper so I hope it will be ready as soon as possible. I don't think that we are going to have any problems.

"I hope that Milner will sign also. The same as Joe: in the next days. I don't know [in] how many days we can have this as official news. I suppose that also he will sign and continue here because he also wants to stay."

Hart not guaranteed number one

Nevertheless, despite rumours of a five-year, £120,000-per-week deal, Pellegrini has insisted that Hart will not be City's guaranteed first-choice goalkeeper over summer signing Willy Caballero moving forward.

"You never know who is number one. Joe is the best goalkeeper in England," he said. "He is in a very good performance in this moment.

"In a squad we need always two good goalkeepers and I repeat that the best way to have a good performance is to have good competition behind.

"Joe is a great professional. Maybe for some parts of last year for different reasons, his performance was not the performance we all know he can have. He understands perfectly in that moment.

"He continues working harder and he has also a very good goalkeeping coach in Xabi Mancisidor. So he works with him every day. He is a great professional and I am very happy with him."

Kompany and Silva in contention to start

There's no doubt that Hart will be between the posts for tomorrow's game against Leicester, though, and he'll be joined by captain Vincent Kompany, who has missed the past three matches with a hamstring problem.

“Vincent is in the squad list,” said Pellegrini. “So I think that he will have no problem to play.”

David Silva could also start his first game since suffering a knee injury against Newcastle United in October, having played 23 minutes in Wednesday's 2-0 Champions League win at Roma, with the Chilean adding: "He played already 30 minutes and he didn’t feel any pain in his knee so I think he could be fit to play in the starting 11.”

Bulgarian wonderkid gets trial

Meanwhile, Manchester City have offered highly-rated Bulgarian teenager Bozhidar Kraev a trial at the club.

The 17-year-old Levski Sofia midfielder has also attracted interest from Juventus, with his coach and sporting director Georgi Ivanov confirming that both clubs are pursuing his signature.

"City wants him for a seven-day trial whereas Juventus offers him three days of training. And he will go," Ivanov was quoted in the Guardian.

"Of course, we should not take this as a granted contract, but it is a positive signal for Kraev's progress."

Kraev, a graduate of Hristo Stoichkov's academy, made his debut for Levski in July and scored a hat-trick in the Bulgarian Cup in September.

Set to travel to Italy and then on to Manchester next week, Stoichkov himself has recently gushed about his potential, adding: “He is best when he is dribbling at speed. But I especially appreciate his unselfishness and willingness to play for the team."

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