Manuel Pellegrini has defended his decision to let Gareth Barry join Everton as he prepares to take on the midfielder’s new club.
Barry, who joined the Toffees on a season-long loan on transfer-deadline day, is ineligible to face City at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.
But he has been on the winning side in each of his three Premier League games for Everton, helping Roberto Martinez’s team become the only unbeaten team in the division, while City have lost twice and have two fewer points.
However, Pellegrini remains adamant he was right to let the 32-year-old leave, citing competition from four other players for the central-midfield spots.
He said: "Barry has a lot of experience. I talked with him before the season. I had four players in the same position -- Yaya [Touré], Fernandinho, [Jack] Rodwell and Javi Garcia.
“I think it was not good for him to stay here. He understood perfectly and he went to Everton without any problem for me or the club."
Pellegrini faces a selection dilemma in goal when he debates whether to retain the out-of-form Joe Hart or to give Costel Pantilimon a belated league debut.
He said: “It's a very difficult decision and we will see what is my final decision."