Tuesday 20 August 2019

Bazunu gets nod to travel on City's pre-season training trip

Gavin Bazunu is off to China for pre-season training with Manchester City. Photo: Ben McShane/Sportsfile
Gavin Bazunu is off to China for pre-season training with Manchester City. Photo: Ben McShane/Sportsfile

Aidan Fitzmaurice

Manchester City have shown their faith in Irish teenager Gavin Bazunu by asking the 17-year-old to travel to China for pre-season training with the first-team squad.

Bazunu, who joined City from Shamrock Rovers last year, had been expected to go to Croatia for a training camp with City's U-23 squad, but when boss Pep Guardiola named his 26-man squad for a trip to Asia, Bazunu was included.

Senior 'keepers Claudio Bravo and Daniel Grimshaw are included, but with Ederson offered more time off following Copa America duties with Brazil, Bazunu has been drafted in and will get to train with the senior squad in China - a major boost to the Dubliner.

City play West Ham in a pre-season game in China this week and will also play either Newcastle United or Wolves, also in China. Guardiola's side then head to Hong Kong and Yokohama.

Prospects Bazunu is one of a number of Irish prospects who have been asked to train with their clubs in pre-season. Youngster Gavin Kilkenny, a product of St Kevin's Boys, has been added to the first team squad at Bournemouth by boss Eddie Howe for their pre-season training camp in Spain, while Dara O'Shea (West Brom) and Nathan Collins (Stoke) are also progressing.

Aiden McGeady, meanwhile, says he was happy to turn down a move away from Sunderland to sign a new deal with the League One side.

The 33-year-old was heavily linked with a move to the MLS while Championship clubs were also tracking the veteran, Sunderland's player of the year last season as they failed to win promotion.

But he could now see out his career at the club after agreeing a new deal which keeps him at Sunderland until at least 2021. "I'm happy here, I'm settled here and when you get to my age I was looking at it from different points of view," he said.

"There were other teams that were interested but I didn't want to entertain that. I was keen to get something sorted, and equally the club were quite keen as well. I want to do everything I can to help the club get back to where it belongs."

Irish Independent

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