Thursday 14 December 2017

Jovetic axed to make way for Bony in City's Euro squad

Manchester City have left striker Stevan Jovetic out of their Champions League squad to accommodate new £25million signing Wilfried Bony (pictured)
Manchester City have left striker Stevan Jovetic out of their Champions League squad to accommodate new £25million signing Wilfried Bony (pictured)

Jeremy Wilson

The embarrassment of riches at Manchester City was underlined last night with the announcement that they have left Stevan Jovetic out of their Champions League squad to accommodate £25m signing Wilfried Bony.

The arrival of the Ivory Coast international from Swansea last month meant City had one more foreign player in their squad than they are permitted to register for European competition.

The decision by Manuel Pellegrini to omit Jovetic from their Euro squad means that he will continue to be restricted to just three senior strikers for the rest of the competition - Bony, Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko.

But given 25-year-old Jovetic's limited involvement during 19 often injury-troubled months at City, Pellegrini - despite a looming Champions League last-16 tie against Barcelona - has decided it is a sacrifice worth making.

Jovetic, who missed large spells last season with calf and hamstring problems, has scored just 11 goals since his £22m move from Fiorentina in 2013, and this latest setback will raise doubts over his future at the club.

City, as punishment for breaching UEFA's Financial Fair Play restrictions, are restricted to naming just 16 foreign players in their squad rather than the usual 17.

Pellegrini's initial decision to name three strikers was influenced by the injury to Álvaro Negredo, who has subsequently joined Valencia on loan.

Meanwhile, West Bromwich Albion are ready to scrap contract talks with Saido Berahino and will consider offers of over £20m for the forward in the summer.

Berahino is also set to be fined for an interview with Sky Sports which was agreed without the permission of his club, in which he admitted he hopes to "move on to bigger things". The interview comes three weeks after he was banned from driving for 12 months after pleading guilty to drink-driving. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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