Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

MANUEL'S HOME GROAN DILEMMA ; Blues Boss Vows He Will Only Sign Top-Quality Players during Shopping Spree

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

MANUEL'S HOME GROAN DILEMMA ; Blues Boss Vows He Will Only Sign Top-Quality Players during Shopping Spree

Article excerpt

CITY are in the hunt for home-grown players this summer - but Manuel Pellegrini warns they will have to be topquality to make it into his squad.

With the Blues eyeing up Liverpool pace ace Raheem Sterling - who has stalled on new contract talks - Pellegrini made it plain that the club is only interested in buying home-grown stars if they are good enough to improve his squad.

And he also poured a little cold water on the hopes that City's muchvaunted academy set-up might start feeding players into the first team next season, by urging patience over the development of young stars.

That, plus the need to pep up his home-grown quota, shines a light on Sterling, the brightest young England prospect out there, but who Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers says is going nowhere this summer.

The Blues have also been linked with Everton midfielder Ross Barkley, but their interest has cooled after the Merseysiders quoted a Pounds 50m fee - and the 21-year-old's form dipped this season.

City will lose Frank Lampard, Scott Sinclair, Micah Richards - and possibly James Milner and Richard Wright - from their home- grown stock in the close season.

But they will take a decision during pre-season on whether their own products Rony Lopes, Jason Denayer, Karim Rekik and Jose Pozo are ready to step into the breach and join their first-team squad.

But it seems likely that they will need to buy at least one home- grown star, or risk having a depleted squad.

In a recent interview, Pellegrini said: "It's important to have English players. Can you sign them? To improve this squad, you're talking players you can't get. Let's say Shaw. Pounds 35m on a left- back because he's English? "Can you get Sterling from Liverpool? Maybe if you go with Pounds 100m.

"Cahill? Or Lampard a few years ago? And if I want an Englishman in Silva's position, who is there? …

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