The contrasting fortunes of Micah and Nedum

With news that Nedum Onuoha is set to join Sunderland on loan for the season, there also appeared on the official site an interview with Micah Richards positively describing his fight for a first team place.

Micah’s words contrasted sharply with those of Nedum in his Soccer AM appearance at the end of last season. Where Nedum has seen his place taken by the likes of Kolo Toure and Jerome Boateng, Micah is hanging on in there.

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Why Craig Bellamy won’t quit football

There’s virtually no chance of Craig Bellamy remaining with City and not making the final squad of 25. Most supporters would have him in the squad based on his performances last season. Whether Roberto Mancini is quite so enamoured with Bellamy’s qualities may be open to question.

If the Welshman is likely to be on the fringes of things at City, then a transfer could be arranged with one of the numerous teams who would be glad to have him. In the event of the transfer window being about to close with a deal not in place, then a loan could be arranged.

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What now for Milner and Ireland after O’Neill quits?

The shock resignation of Martin O’Neill as Aston Villa manager is unlikely to change James Milner’s mind about wishing to leave the Midlanders and join City. But what about Stephen Ireland’s move in the opposite direction?

A deal involving cash plus Ireland for Milner was supposedly near to completion with Roberto Mancini optimistic of having the England midfielder in his squad by Thursday. If Ireland decides he no longer wants to join Villa then City would be back to having to agree a cash only deal. This may prove trickier as each club’s valuation of Milner has differed widely.

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Friendly player ratings: City v Valencia

Hart (Given 46) – Looked confident despite having little to do as those in front of him kept Valencia at bay. 6

Richards – Began the game at right-back, looking to get forward at every opportunity. Looking strong and sharp this was an impressive display which bodes well for the upcoming season. 7

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