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Fabregas: Ref had a bad day

Chelsea
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Pellegrini: No Lescott or Rodwell loans

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has defended himself against claims that he is sidelining English players such as Joleon Lescott and Micah Richards

Manuel Pellegrini has ruled out allowing Joleon Lescott or Jack Rodwell to leave Manchester City on loan in January, saying he wants to keep his squad intact until the end of the season.

Joleon Lescott
Joleon Lescott was hoping a loan move would boost his World Cup chances.

The City manager is also adamant that he will not sell striker Edin Dzeko, who has been linked with Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund.

Centre-back Lescott, out of contract in the summer, said last week he would consider moving on in the winter transfer window to get first-team football.

Midfielder Rodwell has only made two appearances in an injury-hit campaign, while right-back Micah Richards has featured just six times as Pellegrini has given his English players few starts.

But the manager said: "They will remain here in the squad. Lescott is playing all the last games. Rodwell also has been injured for maybe three months of the season or two and a half months. [James] Milner is normally playing.

"Micah Richards has injuries half of the season but he played against [Viktoria] Plzen in the Champions League and he played against Sunderland. Of the last three games [actually four], he played two so the English players, the Spanish players and the Argentinian players are all part of our squad and we need all of them."

Asked about Dzeko, who has lost his place in the team to summer signing Alvaro Negredo, Pellegrini replied: "There are a lot of rumours that are not true. The squad we have from the beginning is the squad we need, so it would be very strange if one player could go out in January."

Captain Vincent Kompany is set to make his first appearance in almost two months when City visit West Brom on Wednesday.

And Pellegrini said he has been particularly cautious after the injury-prone defender broke down soon after his previous comeback.

He explained: "He is 100 percent right. He was injured when we played against Everton eight weeks ago, so maybe we waited a little bit more to come back to the team because the other times he was saying he was absolutely sure that he was 100 percent but maybe he wasn’t. We gave him one or two weeks more."

Pellegrini, a former Real Madrid, Malaga and Villarreal manager, said Kompany was among the finest defenders he had coached.

He added: "He is one of the best. He is very complete: in one-v-ones, [in] heading, he has a lot of speed, so he is very complete."

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