Football: Delph to start for Man City, Dzeko could leave
MELBOURNE: New signing Fabian Delph will play for Manchester City in Friday's pre-season match with Real Madrid in Melbourne while Edin Dzeko may be on his way out, manager Manuel Pellegrini said Thursday.
Delph is expected to get a run along with City's record signing Raheem Sterling against the 10-time European champions in the final game of the International Champions Cup at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
"We are near to the start of the Premier League so I think that the senior players will have more minutes than the last game and I think Delph will be involved," Pellegrini told reporters.
England midfielder Delph left Aston Villa this week to sign a five-year contract with City.
"Edin didn't play the last game as it's not clear if he will continue here or not but he is still working here with the whole squad."
Bosnia's Dzeko played no part when City beat Italy's AS Roma on penalties at the MCG on Tuesday, with Pellegrini confirming that it was a result of the transfer negotiations.
Midfield colossus Yaya Toure said Manchester City must aspire to the standards of Real Madrid and they will get their chance against the Spanish giants in Melbourne.
The Ivorian said City has had a massive boost with the addition of Sterling and Delph in the off-season and they were keen to bounce back after finishing runners-up to Chelsea in the defence of the title they won in 2014.
"The target we have to reach (is) the level of Real Madrid and Barcelona," he said.
"We've signed some great players this year - Sterling and Delph - we will welcome them and we hope they will give us a massive boost this year."
"We need to bounce back and to support our fans - they have supported us for long years and we want to make them proud."
Pellegrini, a former manager at Real Madrid, was looking forward to City facing the Galacticos before an expected 95,000 full house at the MCG.
"It's always special to play against Real Madrid, especially because of the way the fans supported me when I left," he said.
"We are in pre-season and it's friendly but the fans deserve to see a good game, so I'm sure Real Madrid and us will play a good game.
"I have a lot of trust in the squad. All of us want revenge for what happened last season.
"I think the whole squad has the real motivation to win the EPL title and we will see that for the whole season.
"I am absolutely sure that we are going in the competition at a high level."