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Dublin: 18 °C Saturday 8 August, 2020

Pellegrini to rejoin City's preseason tour following death of his mother

The Chilean will hope to reach Hong Kong in time to take the reins for Wednesday’s friendly with South China.

Manuel Pellegrini will join up with the squad in Hong Kong.
Manuel Pellegrini will join up with the squad in Hong Kong.
Image: Fábio Poço/Atlantico/Press Association Images

MANUEL PELLEGRINI IS hoping to join up with his Manchester City team in Hong Kong, on Tuesday, following the death of his mother.

The Chilean returned home to be at the bedside of his mother, Silvia. Her funeral takes place in Chile today and Pellegrini is then expected to fly out from Santiago in the hopes of joining up with the squad before their preseason friendly with South China.

City arrived in Hong Kong on Monday without new manager Manuel Pellegrini, but assistant manager Brian Kidd insisted the team’s pre-season build-up was on track despite his absence. “We hope Manuel will be back on Tuesday,” said Kidd.

The big-spending team touched down in the southern Chinese city after two losses in friendlies in South Africa. Kidd said he was happy with City’s preparations ahead of the start of their Premier League season on 19 August.

“The main concern is players getting minutes under their belt,” said Kidd. “Even when [Pellegrini] went back to Chile the substitutes were all planned, what time the players had to go on and off, albeit with a bit of scope with injuries and everything.

“His preparation has been superb and his backroom staff have been tremendous. I have been really impressed with them.”

City, who lost their Premier League crown to Manchester United last season, have been the biggest spenders so far in the transfer market, adding forwards Stevan Jovetic and Alvaro Negredo, and midfielders Jesus Navas and Fernandinho.

All are expected to feature against local side South China on Wednesday in the Barclays Asia Trophy. City will play Sunderland or Spurs three days later. Kidd said he was excited by the new additions. He commented:

They look really talented boys and they are going to make an impact in the Premier League and in the Champions League. I believe you need four forwards so you can alternate because the Premier League is a demanding league and we will be fighting on all fronts in the Champions League.

“I would not change our squad for any squad in the Premier League.”

Those sentiments were echoed by captain Vincent Kompany. “We’ve played a big part so far in the transfer market. There was a bit of a gap last season between us and the champions, but we are doing everything to bridge that gap,” he said.

“It shows that we definitely have the intention to be champions again.”

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