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Richards and Sinclair could leave City

ESPN staff
August 29, 2014
Is there a group of death?

Manuel Pellegrini admits Micah Richards and Scott Sinclair could leave Manchester City before the transfer window closes after telling them they are not in his first-team plans.

The City manager has compiled a squad with two players in each position. Right-back Richards and winger Sinclair, as well as striker John Guidetti, are surplus to requirements at the Etihad Stadium.

Micah Richards is surplus to requirements at Manchester City © PA Photos

"We will see what happens with them in the next 48 hours," Pellegrini told a news conference. "They know at the moment they are not part of the squad because we have enough players with the 22 players I chose for this year."

Richards, the club's longest-serving player having made 245 appearances since debuting in 2005, is only the third-choice right-back after the signing of Bacary Sagna and is out of contract in the summer.

Sinclair came off the bench in City's Community Shield defeat to Arsenal but has only made two league starts for the club in two years since his £6.2 million signing from Swansea.

Guidetti, who has been loaned out to Burnley, Feyenoord and Stoke, is still yet to make his league debut for City.

City face Stoke at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday and Pellegrini has said that neither Eliaquim Mangala nor Frank Lampard are ready to make their debuts but could give Sagna a first appearance since his summer switch from Arsenal.

Sergio Aguero was pictured in apparent agony after a training-ground challenge this week but Pellegrini insisted the striker is not injured. "He doesn't have any problem," he said.

Aguero has scored in both of his appearances as a substitute this season and Pellegrini hinted he may be on the bench again. He added: "Kun is in the squad list, we will see how many minutes he can play."

Pellegrini is also confident City will qualify from their Champions League group despite the seeding system handing them another tough draw.

The Premier League champions will face Bayern Munich, Roma and CSKA Moscow but after taking the club into the last 16 for the first time in his debut campaign, Pellegrini believes he can steer City into the knockout stages again.

"Yes, of course. Last year we lost first position in the group to Bayern on goal difference," he said. "This year with more experience, with the trust that we have already qualified for the round of 16, I am absolutely sure we are going to continue."

While City were only in the second pot of seeds, Chelsea and Arsenal, who finished third and fourth in the Premier League, were top seeds.

It is the third time in four seasons that City have faced 2013 champions Bayern, but Pellegrini insisted he has no issue, adding: "It is the rules of the draw. Maybe there are different systems to do it but at the moment this is the system and we can do nothing to change that."

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