Pep Guardiola is considering keeping central defender Eliaquim Mangala at the Etihad when the January transfer window opens.
The Frenchman returned to first-team training at the start of the week following eight months out with a knee injured he sustained in February while on loan at Everton. Mangala is out of contract at the end of the season and has heard nothing from the Citizens so far about them wanting him to stay beyond next summer.
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Guardiola, however, is a fan of the powerful 27-year-old, who failed to cement a regular starting berth in Manchester after his arrival from Porto for £32m in 2014. Mangala made enough appearances for City last season to qualify for winners’ medals in the Premier League and Carabao Cup, impressing Guardiola when asked to do a job.
City are presently well covered for central defenders, with John Stones, Aymeric Laporte, Nicolas Otamendi and skipper Vincent Kompany all having to accept being rotated this season.
Kompany’s struggles to stay clear of injury has the City manager contemplating keeping Mangala as a further back up option, with his squad expected to continue battling again on four fronts this term.