Manchester City

Manchester City round-up: Gundogan close to return; La Liga president in FFP accusations; Bony on City spell

This’ll come as music to the ears of Manchester City fans ahead of their heavyweight clash with Liverpool this weekend as The Sun understand that Ilkay Gundogan is pushing for a shock return.

The 26-year-old has been out for just under ten months since suffering a horrific cruciate knee ligament injury against Watford just before Christmas, an injury that ended his debut campaign.

But it’s thought that the German international’s rehabilitation has gone extremely well and, after playing 60 minutes for City’s Development Squad last week, he could be on the bench on Saturday.

A source close to the Etihad said: “He is pushing hard for a first-team comeback. He’s played a few development games and friendlies.

“His progress has been great and the coaching staff are delighted. Pep will take a closer look at him this week. The medical staff will have a say, but he has fully recovered from his injury and it’s just down to his core fitness now.

Gundogan moved to Manchester from German side Borussia Dortmund for £20 million last year, impressing during the start to the season by scoring three goals in nine Premier League appearances.

In other news, the Telegraph report that Manchester City are embroiled in a legal battle after La Liga’s president has called for UEFA to investigate their spending on account of breaching Financial Fair Play rules.

Javier Tebas has launched a shocking attack on the Premier League side, also claiming that Girona – City’s sister club in La Liga – have undervalued players sent on loan from City in the summer window.

Five players were sent on-loan to the Spanish side, who City Football Group (CFG) and Pep Guardiola’s brother own an 88% stake in, and no loan fees were paid – angering president Tebas.

And things took a turn for the worse on Wednesday evening after he went public with his allegations against City, accusing the club of ‘cooking the books’ and trying to pull the wool over La Liga’s eyes.

Addressing the situation, a spokesperson for Manchester City said:

“We note the public comments made by Mr Tebas today and earlier this week. UEFA’s statement of September 4 is clear and based on accurate information.

“By contrast, Mr Tebas’s statements are ill-informed and, in parts, pure fiction.”

The spokesperson is referring to a statement made by UEFA earlier this week, detailing that they will not be opening an investigation against Manchester City with regards to Financial Fair Play regulations.

And lastly, Wilfried Bony has opened up on his unsuccessful two-year spell at Manchester City following his deadline day return to Swansea City last week for £12 million, saying that things became ‘difficult’.

The 28-year-old striker struggled for regular first-team opportunities since his £28million move from Wales in 2015, managing 10 goals in 46 appearances before being sent out on-loan to Stoke City last season.

And reflecting on his time to Italian site Foot Mercato, Bony said:

“It was a bit difficult at the end. I had injuries. There were some good moments. We won the [League] Cup. For me, there were a lot of bad moments due to injuries.

“In any case, it was a good experience. I learned lessons from that adventure.”

The Ivorian looks set to make his Swansea debut (for the second time) when they host newly-promoted Newcastle United on Sunday afternoon, looking to record their second successive three points.

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