Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has insisted Stevan Jovetic has a future at the club despite the forward being taken out of the Premier League champions’ Champions League squad, ESPN has reported.
Jovetic was removed to make room for Wilfried Bony, the Ivory Coast striker signed in January from Swansea City, as City are restricted in the number of non-homegrown players they can include in their European squad, having fallen afoul of UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules.
Pellegrini explained thinking behind preferring Bony over Jovetic, and stressed that just because the Montenegro international has been left out of the group eligible for the Champions League, it’s not an indication Jovetic has no future at the Etihad Stadium.
“I don’t think that one thing has a link with the other thing,” Pellegrini said. “It is very important for Stevan to try to play now until the end of the season to play as much games as he can and not be injured and try to have a high performance every time he plays,” he continued. “After the end of the season, we analyse not only for Stevan, for all the squad which will continue the next year.
“We bought Bony because I think that we need another striker, a box player, and in the position of Jovetic maybe we have some other options,” the Chilean continued. “It is a difficult decision but I think it was the best for the squad. Stevan Jovetic continues being a very important player here.”
Jovetic has been at City since a 2013 move from Fiorentina, the 23-year-old scoring 11 goals in 40 appearances for City. He previously scored 39 goals in 134 games for the Italian club, having started his career at Partizan Belgrade.
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