Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

PELLEGRINI FACES ENGLISH DILEMMA ; Uefa Rules Could Make It Difficult for the Blues to Look Abroad for Signings.

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

PELLEGRINI FACES ENGLISH DILEMMA ; Uefa Rules Could Make It Difficult for the Blues to Look Abroad for Signings.

Article excerpt

CITY could be forced to buy English in the summer unless Micah Richards and Jack Rodwell can ght their way back into contention.

e two injury-hit stars are in line for a return to action for Sunday's FA Cup quarter-nal tie at home to Wigan - and it could be their last chance in the current campaign to impress manager Manuel Pellegrini.

e Blues are already set to lose three players from their home- grown quota when Gareth Barry and Joleon Lescott move on free transfers, while Scott Sinclair is also likely to leave.

And with the futures of Rodwell and Richards both in doubt after they were left out of the matchday squad for last Sunday's League Cup nal triumph, the Blues could end up with an all-time low number of English players.

As it stands, City have room for one more foreign player in their 25-man squad, without falling foul of Uefa rules - and they are intent on going back for Porto's France international defender Eliaquim Mangala in the summer. If they land the 23-year-old stopper, they could only further add to their squad by bringing in players, who have come through the English system - not necessarily Englishhmen - or by promoting their own youngsters.

Lescott has already said he will leave in the summer and Barry is expected to join Everton, where he is enjoying an excellent season on loan.

at means the destinies of Richards and Rodwell are crucial to Pellegrini's planning for next season.

e last time both played, they were hauled o' at half-time in the FA Cup fth round clash with Watford, as the Blues fell 2-0 behind. ey were replaced by Pablo Zabaleta and Vincent Kompany and City fought back to win 4-2. Pellegrini has remained quiet on his plans for the pair in the summer but he has made it plain that he feels no obligation to play English players. His job is to look after City, not worry about the FA's troubles.

But he could be hit by Uefa's rules, which dictate that all English clubs in European competition can have a maximum of 17 foreign players, and up to eight who spent at least three seasons with an English club between the ages of 15 and 21.

Players aged under 21 do not count, but that means Matija Nastasic, who turns 21 later this month, will have to be counted in the foreign quota from next season. …

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