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Nobbled Negredo set for City stay amid Real interest

Manchester City have confirmed striker Alvaro Negredo is ruled out for up to three months, as their odds to win the Premier League title next season with Coral drift to 12/5 from 2/1. The Spaniard fractured his metatarsal in the club’s 2-1 friendly win over Hearts at Tynecastle, and confirmed the news via his Instagram account.

“I want to let you know that its going to be hard for the next few months,” Negredo said. “I fractured my 5th metatarsal and will be out a few months. I will be back stronger than ever.”

Whether or not manager Manuel Pellgrini brings in a replacement remains to be seen, with Sergio Aguero still recovering from an injury sustained at the World Cup with Argentina, and Stevan Jovetic struggling for fitness for the majority of last term.

It could leave City’s Chilean coach in somewhat of a quandry. There were rumours that Real Madrid had identified Negredo to replace Alvaro Morata, who has just signed for Juventus, which would still have left City short in the striker department. With only a reported £50m to spend this summer, due to Financial Fair Play sanctions, the club were deemed to have spent wisely so far, recruiting goalkeeper Willy Caballero for £6m and defensive midfielder Fernando for £12m.

Porto centre back Eliaquim Mangala was reportedly next on the list, with the Portuguese club holding out for £32m. City’s latest injury news however, could prompt a rethink. While they do need a defensive partner for Vincent Kompany, it is also important that they do not go short up front.

Fringe players such as Micah Richards could be sold to fund a move for another striker, however, this would then leave the club short of home-grown domestic personnel to make up their Champions League squad.

If only Edin Dzeko is fit at the start of the new campaign, Pellegrini knows that he at least has an abundance of attacking midfielders who he can utilise to plug the gap. The Bosnian centre forward could easily play with David Silva, Samir Nasri and Yaya Toure in support. Throw in Jesus Navas and James Milner, and there are plenty of other options.

Striker John Guidetti, who featured against Hearts, is another option, although he has been a bit-part player since the start of his City career, having been farmed out on loan for a number of seasons. The club start their campaign away at Newcastle, and are odds-on at 8/15 to record three points.