Javi García’s Manchester City career is in the balance following Álvaro Negredo’s metatarsal injury that could rule the striker out for three months. The midfielder faces having to be sold to meet the club’s overseas player quota for the Premier League and Champions League.
Negredo suffered his injury in the 2-1 defeat of Hearts in a pre-season friendly at Tynecastle. After having tests over the weekend, the forward revealed on his Instagram account that he will miss a sizeable part of the season after fracturing his fifth metatarsal bone in his right foot.
“I want to let you know that it’s going to be hard for the next few months, I fractured my 5th metatarsal and will be out a few months,” the 28-year-old wrote. “I will be back stronger than ever.”
City have to include at least five homegrown players and a maximum of 16 who are classed as overseas in a Champions League squad that has been reduced to 21 because of Uefa’s financial fair play sanctions. Premier League rules allow no more than 17 non-homegrown players.
Manuel Pellegrini wants to add either Porto’s Eliaquim Mangala or Roma’s Mehdi Benatia to his central defence which would bring the number of “foreign” players in the squad to 18.
City would then not be able to register one of their overseas contingent for their 25-man Premier League squad and would have to drop two from the Champions League squad.
Negredo had been interesting Atlético Madrid and had appeared the more likely to leave – if the Spanish champions were to meet City’s price of around £25m and the forward put in a formal transfer request. A transfer now appears unlikely and he will almost certainly be registered for the Premier League squad for him to be available after he recovers.
The arrival of Mangala or Benatia means City still have to drop another foreign player for the Champions League and Premier League squads.
Although Pellegrini would like to keep García – he is keen on the central midfielder’s versatility – the likely option is to sell the 27-year-old as he cannot be registered. Napoli have retained an interest in the player who cost £15.8m from Benfica two years ago.
City flew out to America on Monday to start summer tour where they will play Sporting Kansas City, Milan, Liverpool and Olympiakos. The latter three matches are in the International Champions Cup. They could play Manchester United in the final in Miami on 4 August, as Louis van Gaal’s team are in the other group.