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Pellegrini rules out signing De Bruyne replacement

Manchester City will not sign a replacement for the injured Kevin De Bruyne before the transfer window closes, manager Manuel Pellegrini has said.

The Belgium international faces up to 10 weeks on the sidelines after damaging a medial knee ligament during the 3-1 League Cup win over Everton this week.

But Pellegrini is not concerned about a lack of cover for De Bruyne and says the way City have coped with the absences of David Silva and Sergio Aguero at different stages of this season shows they do not need to panic-buy before Monday’s deadline.

“We knew after the game it was a serious injury – not a season-ending injury as it was not a cruciate, but an important injury and will be out for eight to 10 weeks,” Pellegrini said on Friday.

“It’s important for the club not to play with Kevin. We must continue playing with the whole squad if we want to be a competitive team.

“It’s one less important player but we must continue with optimism and give responsibility to the squad.

“It’s not our intention to bring in anyone in January. In some moments we couldn’t play with Sergio or David and now we play without Kevin.”

Pellegrini confirmed De Bruyne will join captain Vincent Kompany, Eliaquim Mangala, Aleksandar Kolarov, Wilfried Bony and Samir Nasri on the sidelines for Saturday’s FA Cup clash with Aston Villa.

“The same injuries as last week – Vincent, Mangala, Kolarov – I hope they will return next week to at least work with the squad,” said the Chilean.

“Eight to 10 weeks more for Nasri and Kevin and I hope in a couple of weeks Bony will be fit again.”

Having reached the final of the League Cup this week, City remain on course to challenge for an unprecedented quadruple, yet Pellegrini is anxious not to look too far ahead.

“I don’t know if it’s realistic or not but we’re not thinking about that – just about Villa, then the next game,” he said.

“It’s important to continue being involved in all competitions and to show you’re a strong team in all of them.

“It’s the same team we play that we played in November – we started in Remi Garde’s first game. We drew against them in their stadium so I think tomorrow will be a similar game and very difficult also.”

Fri 29 Jan, 2016
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