Matija Nastasic will be out for around four and six weeks, it has been confirmed…
Manchester City’s wonderkid centre-half Matija Nastasic will be out for between four and six weeks, Sky Sports confirm.
The 20-year-old Serb was stretchered off during the 1-0 Asia Trophy final victory over Sunderland during City’s pre-season tour, and now new manager Pellegrini has only club-captain Vincent Kompany and Joleon Lescott as recognised options.
The injury could be a major blow to the start of City’s Premier League plans. Nastasic won a starting place alongside Kompany last term, ousting England international Lescott in the process. His calmness on the ball and ability to play it out from the back was admired by many pundits, and the centre-half is destined to become one of the leading defenders in the country.
Nastasic joined the club from Fiorentina for £13m plus Stefan Savic, last summer, but his injury could mean Pellegrini steps up his efforts to sign Real Madrid’s Portuguese hard man Pepe.
The 30-year-old centre-back will cost around £15m, according to The Express, and will take City’s spending to around £105m for the summer.
Pellegrini was eager to be respectful to Pepe’s club Real Madrid however, the club where he managed the centre-half between 2009 and 2010.
“I don’t speak about rumours. And I’m not talking about specific names because it’s better for us not too. So I don’t talk about Pepe or any other names,” Pellegrini told a press conference after his side’s Asia trophy victory last month.
The Chilean has already stamped his mark on the side this transfer window, bringing in Spanish pair Jesus Navas and Alvaro Negredo, and spending a whopping £30m on Brazilian midfielder Fernandinho.
The addition of Pepe would make City look formidable on paper, and more than make up for the cruel injury blow Nastasic has suffered.