12 August 2017

Eliaquim Mangala set for shock Manchester City lifeline with Pep Guardiola struggling to find new centre-backs

ELIAQUIM MANGALA could get a shock lifeline at Manchester City – as Pep Guardiola struggles to find the new centre back he wants.

The £32 million French international was expected to be on his way out of the Etihad after a disappointing three-year stay.

Mangala takes on West Ham’s Javier Hernandez during their friendly in Iceland
Getty Images – Getty
Pep Guardiola has kept Eliaquim Mangala in first-team training
Getty – Contributor

But Mangala has been training with the first team squad to prepare for the new season – while other unwanted stars have been frozen out.

Samir Nasri, Wilfried Bony and Jason Denayer have all been put through their paces alone as Pep prepares his squad for the new season.

That has led some to believe Mangala could get drafted into the fold – for the early weeks of the season at least – to see how he performs.

Guardiola said last month he still wants to buy another new centre back – despite spending £218 million already this summer.

He has experimented with playing three centre halves during pre-season and at present he only has three – Vincent Kompany, John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi – that he trusts.

City pulled out of the running for Virgil van Dijk back in June while they have also shown some interest in Inigo Martinez of Real Sociedad.

Eliaquim Mangala failed to shine after his £32m transfer from Porto
Getty – Contributor

Asked if he plans to play three at the back regularly, Pep said: “I’m not going to say we are going to play all the season in that system.

“We are going to play different systems, but the fundamentals will be the same. I’m not going to change the way I want to play.”

How Pep Guardiola will line Manchester City up next season

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