Manchester City prepare for crucial week of player sales

The English champions could offload up to four members of their first-team squad, with the likes of Matija Nastasic, Micah Richards, Scott Sinclair and John Guidetti free to leave
By Paul Clennam

Manchester City are preparing for a potentially pivotal week as they step up plans to sell up to four first-team stars prior to the summer transfer window closing.

Goal understands that the likes of Matija Nastasic, Micah Richards, Scott Sinclair and John Guidetti are all free to leave the club as boss Manuel Pellegrini looks to trim a bulging squad and extravagant wage bill, with key meetings involving all four planned in the coming days.

Nastasic is attracting strong interest from Roma, who could make a move for the Serbian defender should they decide to cash-in on reported Manchester United and Chelsea target Mehdi Benatia.

The 21-year-old defender joined the club from Fiorentina back in 2012 but has struggled to earn a regular starting spot in the City team and is currently behind the likes of Vincent Kompany, Martin Demichelis and summer signing Eliaquim Mangala.

Juventus are another Serie A club interested in the player who City rate at €19 million [£15m], while both Milan clubs are also monitoring the situation but would prefer a loan deal.

With Nastasic's desire to play regular football, Manuel Pellegrini has admitted he is open to selling and told the press: "Matija needs to play. We already have important players here with four full-backs, Demichelis, Kompany, Mangala and [Dedryck] Boyata.

"So we will see in the next few days what happens with Nastasic. He is an important player but he has offers and I think the best thing for him is to play.

"We will see what happens but we have until the end of August to see what kind of offers we get for Matija."

LIMITED GAME TIME | Nastasic struggled to make an impact in the Premier League last season

Versatile right-back Richards, meanwhile, has long been a target for Newcastle United but their interest has cooled following the summer arrival of Netherlands international Daryl Janmaat.

Richards, along with former Swansea City winger Scott Sinclair, are due to meet with Pellegrini this week as they look for a way out of the Etihad Stadium in search of regular football, with the window closing in two weeks' time.

John Guidetti will also be allowed to leave the club and he remains a top target for Dutch side Feyenoord.

The 22-year-old failed to impress during a loan spell with Stoke City last season although Hull City boss Steve Bruce could yet make a move for the Dutch striker.

And Pellegrini has also hinted that he would be willing to allow the out-of-favour trio to leave, telling reporters: "That [a potential move away] also goes for Micah Richards, who didn't want to continue here because he wants to play more - he had a contract to renew but didn't want it.

"So we have three or four players extra - Scott Sinclair and John Guidetti are also important players but I don't like to have so many in the squad.

"I think 22 players is enough and they are all players who have a lot of quality. It is good for them to play."