Report: Manchester City not eyeing New York City FC goalkeeper Josh Saunders, no MLS move for Martin Demichelis

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Recent reports have suggested that the pair could be set to head in opposite directions across the Atlantic this winter.

New York City FC goalkeeper Josh Saunders will not be joining sister club Manchester City this winter, according to Empire of Soccer.

The Sun had recently claimed that Saunders was set to link up with City for a month during the MLS offseason in order for manager Manuel Pellegrini to get a closer look at him, while adding that he could be offered a permanent deal as a backup to Joe Hart if he impresses.

The report came after the American-born Puerto Rico international stood out as one of few bright spots during NYCFC’s inaugural campaign, recording an MLS-leading 123 saves in 33 regular season appearances as the expansion side finished in a disappointing eight-place in the Eastern Conference.

However, while Saunders may still have the opportunity to train with City, EOS claim that there is no chance of a potential spell at the Etihad Stadium leading to either a permanent move or winter loan deal.

The 34-year-old is currently set to join NYCFC in Puerto Rico for their post-season friendly against the Puerto Rico national team on 11 December, when new head coach Patrick Vieira could join the squad in an unofficial capacity ahead of taking the reins the following month.

In addition, while City defender Martin Demichelis has been linked with a January move to Yankee Stadium this week [h/t AS], EOS reports that he will not be heading to the USA.

The Argentine centre-back, who turns 35 next month, has made just three starts in nine Premier League appearances for Pellegrini’s side this season, and there have been suggestions that he could leave the club before his contract expires next summer.

The Mirror claimed that Rosario Central are interested in taking him back to his homeland, but their report also noted that the veteran stopper could join NYCFC on a six-month loan deal instead.

However, with his reported salary of around £3.3 million-per-year likely to count against the cap in order to prevent the MLS club exploiting the league’s rules with their Etihad links, a move to New York is not thought to be possible at present.

NYCFC currently have all three Designated Player slots filled by David Villa, Frank Lampard and Andrea Pirlo, respectively, and they do not have enough Targeted Allocation Money [TAM] at their disposal to make a Demichelis deal work.

Furthermore, the former Bayern Munich man revealed on Monday that he plans to stay at City for the remainder of the 2015-16 season before deciding his future, telling the Daily Mail: “I am really enjoying my time here at City, playing with big players and for a club that is so ambitious, with such big objectives.

“We still have six or seven months of competition and then at the end of the season we will see what’s best for me and what’s best for the team. For the moment I am enjoying my football and am really proud to be part of this.”

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