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Can, Skrtel, Sakho combo key for Reds

Liverpool
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City 'would grant compassionate leave'

Manchester City have insisted that their policy of granting compassionate leave to players and staff in all reasonable circumstances remains in place.

Yaya Toure criticised the club and claimed they refused to allow him to spend time with his dying brother Ibrahim -- who passed away last Thursday at the age of 28-- by forcing him to go a trip to Abu Dhabi at the end of the season.

But sources told ESPN FC that there is a precedent of City allowing players time off when they require it for personal reasons and that their pastoral approach has not changed.

Pablo Zabaleta returned to his native Argentina in 2011 after his father, Jorge, was seriously hurt in a car crash, while Carlos Tevez was also given time to go back to South America in 2010 when his daughter was in intensive care after she was born prematurely.

Pablo Zabaleta and former teammate Carlos Tevez were previously allowed to return to Argentina for family reasons.

Emmanuel Adebayor was on the Togo bus that was attacked by gunmen during the 2010 African Nations Cup when several of his teammates were wounded and he, too, was treated with understanding by City, rather than being rushed back to Manchester and ordered to play.

Former manager Roberto Mancini made regular trips back to Italy to care for his father, Aldo after he suffered a heart attack, and current manager Manuel Pellegrini left the club's preseason tour last summer following the death of his mother.

Toure is currently playing at the World Cup for Ivory Coast with his brother Kolo. 

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