Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has expressed his regret that he has not given Pablo Zabaleta more playing time, reports TalkSPORT.
The Argentinian defender, 25 has been restricted to just five Premier League starts this season but was excellent in the 4-1 rout of Fulham on Sunday, scoring the second and making the fourth. However Mancini admits he is likely to play Micah Richards or Jerome Boateng should either recover from injury in time to face Stoke at the weekend.
“I hope we can recover Richards or Boateng next week,” he said. “I feel sorry for Pablo. He was fantastic against Fulham, as he always is.
“He scored a goal, he defended, he attacked. He is a fantastic man and a fantastic player.”
Santa Cruz offloaded.
Manchester City striker Roque Santa Cruz is set for a £4m return to Ewood Park, a loss of £13m on the £17m City originally paid Blackburn Rovers for the Paraguayan’s signature in 2009.
Santa Cruz was signed when Mark Hughes was still at the Eastlands helm but spent much of his first season out injured. He is far down the pecking order under Roberto Mancini and a January exit is all but a formality. With his family settled in East Lancashire The Sun reports he would welcome a move back to Blackburn.
Rovers boss Sam Allardyce is a fan of the tall Paraguayan and will have funds available in January from new owners Venky’s, whose chairwoman Anuradha Desai said: “New players will be arriving. Money will be available. We are not a selling club now.”
DJ SWP showing Micah the ropes.
Shaun Wright Phillips and Micah Richards are launching a new career in DJing, according to Gigwise.
The pair are practising their skills on the ones and twos in their spare time and will play their first gig at the opening of City’s new club shop.
“Shaun’s more of a teacher to be honest, he’s got all the tricks – I haven’t really got them,” said Richards. “We are going around to each other’s houses and messing around on the decks. I think it’s good fun.”