• Premier League

Pellegrini issues Mangala warning

ESPN staff
September 5, 2014
Eliaquim Mangala became the Premier League's most expensive defender after signing for Manchester City © Getty Images

Manuel Pellegrini has warned new signing Eliaquim Mangala he will have to fight for his place as he expects a three-way battle for the two centre-back places in the Manchester City team.

Mangala became the most expensive defender in Premier League history when Pellegrini signed him from Porto for £32 million last month.

Captain Vincent Kompany has been a regular in the centre of the City defence for the last five seasons, with Martin Demichelis establishing himself as his partner last year. The Argentine has started the first three league games of the current campaign.

Demichelis is the player most likely to lose his place to Mangala, but Pellegrini rejected those suggestions, telling reporters: "We need the three of them.

"Like I have said about the strikers, it's the same with the defenders. We have so many games to play. At the moment Demichelis and Kompany are playing well, but that doesn't mean Mangala can't play.

"He will have his time to play, and then it depends on performances."

Mangala was not deemed ready to play before the international break but is expected to be available when City face Arsenal, Bayern Munich and Chelsea in their next three games.

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