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The Serbian defender is likely to keep his place in the team ahead of Joleon Lescott after making an impressive debut against Real Madrid

EXCLUSIVE
By Greg Stobart

Matija Nastasic is set to keep his place in the Manchester City defence for Sunday’s home clash against Arsenal as the Serbian’s impressive start at his new club threatens Joleon Lescott’s role in the squad.

Nastasic made his City debut in the Champions League defeat at Real Madrid on Tuesday and manager Roberto Mancini was delighted with the way the £10 million (€12.5m) signing performed at the Bernabeu.

Mancini is now set to stick with the 19-year-old for Arsenal’s visit to the Etihad Stadium, with the Italian particularly pleased with the way Nastasic uses the ball to start attacks when in possession.

It means Lescott will have to settle for a place on the substitutes’ bench and wait to be re-united with Vincent Kompany, having made 45 appearances in all competitions in City’s title-winning campaign last season.

Goal.com revealed earlier this month that City plan to hold talks over a new contract for Lescott in the New Year, with the 30-year-old expected to receive an increase on his current £90,000-a-week salary.

City have no plans to sell Lescott and consider him a key member of the squad, but the England international will have to fight for his place if he is to partner captain Kompany in central defence.

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