NAST BLAST FORCES CITY TO SHUF­FLE BACK FOUR

Midweek Sport - - SPORT - By JA­SON MEL­LOR

MANCH­ESTER CITY have been rocked by news that Matija Nas­ta­sic has been ruled out for six weeks.

City’s key Ser­bian defender will miss the first month of the cam­paign with an­kle lig­a­ment dam­age suf­fered in pre-sea­son.

The 20-year-old is likely to be ab­sent from the open­ing four Pre­mier League games with the in­jury picked up in the friendly against Sun­der­land in Hong Kong.

For­mer Fiorentina cen­tre-back Nas­ta­sic was car­ried off on a stretcher in last month’s Asia Cup fi­nal, and his loss is a blow to new boss Manuel Pel­le­grini’s plans.

But it could open the door to a re­call for Eng­land defender Joleon Lescott to rekin­dle his ti­tle-win­ning de­fen­sive duo with City skip­per Vin­cent Kom­pany.

There was brighter in­jury news for City with Ser­gio Aguero set to re­turn to train­ing by the end of the week.

The Ar­gen­tinian striker has yet to fea­ture in pre-sea­son thanks to a knee in­jury suf­fered on the post­sea­son tour of the US in May.

Flop­ping

West Brom are con­fi­dent of seal­ing a loan deal for Scott Sin­clair this week.

The Bag­gies have moved to the front of the queue to land the 24-year-old winger af­ter pos­i­tive talks with City.

Sin­clair more than quadru­pled his £10,000-a-week salary when he joined from Swansea a year ago but his wage de­mands are not ex­pected to be a stum­bling block for Al­bion.

And they be­lieve they can per­suade Sin­clair they are the place for him to re­vive his ca­reer af­ter flop­ping at the Eti­had last term.

Bag­gies gaffer Steve Clarke does not want his at­tack­ing re­cruit­ment drive, which has al­ready seen Ni­co­las Anelka ar­rive, to end there.

He is des­per­ate for more op­tions up front, where he is fac­ing up to life with­out goal-get­ter Romelu Lukaku, and also in wide ar­eas.

Winger Jerome Thomas has left, Peter Odemwingie’s fu­ture hangs in the bal­ance and Zoltan Gera is both in­jured and yet to re-sign for the Black Coun­try out­fit.

A bid for ex-Chelsea ace Salomon Kalou has been ac­cepted by Lille – but the Ivory Coast ace, who was also wanted by West Ham, is not keen on a move.

Bad boy Odemwingie, will re­sist any at­tempt by Al­bion to off­load him over­seas or to a Cham­pi­onship club.

The Bag­gies in­sist they will not sell the for­ward on the cheap – hav­ing re­fused of­fers of £1.5mil­l­lion – but they’ll need to de­cide soon with the trans­fer dead­line only four weeks away.

IN­JURED:

Matija Nas­ta­sic

RE­PLACE­MENT: Lescott

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