Six times English Premier League champions Man City have removed three top players Ilkay Gundogan, Phil Foden, and John Stones from their pre-season squad.
The Cityzens will be traveling to the United States of America to start the pre-season tour but the three players won’t go with the team. Man City are expected to play against Club America in Texas on Wednesday and against German Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich in Green Bay on Saturday.
However, the three players will travel with the Man City U23 team to another country in Europe to play with them. The club hasn’t given any reason behind the removal of their top players but it’s believed that the decision is related to COVID-19 vaccination status.
Manchester City is not the only team whose pre-season preparations have been hampered by player withdrawals. Only 10 outfield players from Crystal Palace have traveled to Singapore and Australia since some haven’t “reached the entry requirements.”
Due to their lack of Covid vaccinations, N’Golo Kante and Ruben Loftus-Cheek were obliged to miss Chelsea’s American tour.
Meanwhile, Man City left-back Oleksandr Zinchenko is heavily linked with a move to Arsenal and the deal is expected to be completed very soon.
In spite of his initial reluctance to leave City, Zinchenko is now expected to conclude his six-year contract with the team and reconnect with striker Gabriel Jesus, who earlier this summer completed a £45 million transfer to the Emirates.
Breaking: Phil Foden, Ilkay Gündogan, and John Stones will not be travelling with #ManCity for the American leg of their pre-season preparations. There is no confirmation over the reasons why the three players are not travelling.— City Report (@cityreport_) July 15, 2022
The 25-year-old Ukrainian star player had a limited amount of playing time with Man City last season as he played just 15 English Premier League games.
Multiple sources have already reported that the player is ready to leave Man City this summer and his next destination could be Arsenal.
However, Manchester City values the player at around £35 million and both teams are close to reaching an agreement.
Former Manchester City assistant manager and now Arsenal’s head coach Mikel Arteta is interested in Zinchenko because he can play both in midfield and at left back, giving the team more versatility.
Mikel Arteta and Oleksandr Zinchenko had a good relationship when the manager was with Man City and this could play a major role in signing Zinchenko this summer.
Meanwhile, Chelsea’s target Nathan Ake won’t leave Man City this summer after the West London club failed to match the estimated £45 million price tag on the player. City are still pushing to secure the services of Brighton left-back Marc Cucurella and the departure of Oleksandr Zinchenko will make him a top priority.