Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Man City replaces Samir Nasri with Kelechi iheanacho in squad for UCL

Nigeria youth prodigy Kelechi Iheanacho has been rewarded with a place in the UEFA Champions League squad by Manchester City following his impressive performances for the EPL club.

Iheanacho, who netted a treble weekend in a cup game against Aston Villa at the Villa Park, has replaced recuperating Samir Nasri in a 25-man squad submitted by Manuel Pellegrini.

“Yes, he (Iheanacho) will be in the squad,” said Pellegrini on Kelechi’s inclusion in the Champions League squad.

“I have decided that. I told Samir Nasri I will take him out from the Champions League list because he needs two more months to be fit.

“We need Kelechi, because with Wilfried Bony injured, we cannot afford any risks if Kun [Sergio Aguero] is injured.

“So, we need Kelechi in the squad.

“It was not a difficult decision, but it’s always difficult to tell a player he will not continue in the selections.

“But I think Samir understood. He has already been injured for three months and he understands.”

Nasri has been out of action with a hamstring injury for three months.

Meanwhile, Pep Guardiola has agreed a three-year contract to become Manchester City manager in the summer.The 45-year-old, currently in charge at Bayern Munich, will replace Manuel Pellegrini, who will leave on 30 June.

A statement from City said Chilean Pellegrini, 62, was “fully supportive” of the announcement being made.

The club said negotiations with former Barcelona coach Guardiola had been “a recommencement of discussions that were curtailed in 2012”.

Roberto Mancini was City boss at the time, and led them to the domestic title that year.

Pellegrini succeeded the Italian in 2013 and took the club to a Premier League and League Cup double the following season.

He has won 64 of his 99 Premier League games as a manager, a record only eclipsed by Jose Mourinho, who won 73 of his opening 99 league matches as Chelsea boss.

City could yet win four trophies under Pellegrini this season.

They are already through to the final of the League Cup and are second in the league behind Leicester City.

The Blues are also through to the knockout stages of the Champions League and will play Chelsea in the fifth round of the FA Cup.

“I talked to the club and I will finish my contract on the original date,” said Pellegrini on Monday.

“We signed a contract for one more year, but with a clause that one of the club or me cannot use that extended contract.  So I will finish here on the original date.

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