Manchester City defender Matija Nastasic will miss the start of the Premier League season after being ruled out for up to six weeks with an ankle injury.
The Serbia international, 20, was stretchered off in the final of the Barclays Asia Trophy against Sunderland and may not be fit until September.
It leaves City short of centre-backs for the start of Manuel Pellegrini’s reign after Kolo Toure left the Etihad Stadium to join Liverpool. Joleon Lescott, who lost his place to Nastasic last season, is likely to partner captain Vincent Kompany in the centre of defence.
However, there was better news for City as Sergio Aguero is due to return to training later this week. The Argentina international striker missed City’s pre-season tour of Asia and Australia.
Alvaro Negredo, meanwhile, hopes to prove more English than the English after trading his native Spain for the Premier League.
The City striker deems it a compliment to be called a traditional British striker and hopes his skills as a target man will allow him to flourish at his new club.
The 27-year-old joined City for £20 million from Sevilla, where he had scored 70 goals in four seasons and where his aerial ability led others to tell him he would suit English football.
“I am happy to be called an English-style centre forward,” he told the Manchester Evening News. “I like that type, the tall, strong player who is good in the air, and I like being seen as that kind of player.
“That is one of the main reasons I came here. In Spain people always said I would excel in the English league, so I hope that is the case.”
Negredo believes City fans will enjoy watching Pellegrini’s style of football and believes the Chilean’s track record bodes well for the 2012 Premier League champions.
“Every club he has left has been very happy with what he achieved,” Negredo added. “At Villarreal he had some amazing seasons, at Real Madrid his one season was a very good one, and at Malaga, despite having very little money and a lot of problems, they played very good football.
“The way the fans at those clubs all loved him shows what he is like. He plays attacking, risk-taking football with a lot of possession of the ball. All fans like that kind of football, so I am sure City fans will take to his team.”