Updates from Wednesday, July 23
Manuel Pellegrini has revealed Alvaro Negredo's injury absence due to a broken foot could be slightly shorter than first feared.
Negredo has now had surgery on the injury, and could be back within two months, per TalkSport:
Alvaro had surgery today on his broken foot and he will probably be out for two or three months.
It is a blow for us because Alvaro is a very important member of our squad so obviously we will miss him.
Updates from Tuesday, July 22
The BBC has the latest on Negredo's potential timetable:
"I want to let you know that it's going to be hard for the next few months," he wrote. "I fractured my 5th metatarsal and will be out a few months.
"I will be back stronger than ever. I will return with a vengeance."
Reports had claimed that Negredo would be out for three months but City officials believe he could be back before the end of September.
Manager Manuel Pellegrini had been willing to listen to offers for the Spain international, who was not part of their World Cup squad.
David Lynch of the Manchester Evening News notes that Negredo was left in a "protective boot" after limping off the pitch in City's victory.
According to Marca via Football Espana, the Spanish striker is expected to be sidelined for several months in what is a major blow to City's early-season hopes:
Manchester City striker Alvaro Negredo may have fractured his foot in a pre-season friendly, reports in Spain say.
Marca claim that Negredo is facing between two and three months on the sidelines after fracturing the fifth metatarsal of his right foot.
Pete O'Rourke of Sky Sports confirms that Negredo is facing a lengthy recovery:
Alvaro Negredo expects to be sidelined for "a few months" due to a fractured metatarsal. #MCFC— Pete O'Rourke (@SkySportsPeteO) July 21, 2014
Negredo took to Instagram to confirm the extent of his injury:
"I want to let you know that its going to be hard for the next few months, I fractured my 5th metatarsal and will be out a few months. I will be back stronger than ever."
In response, team-mate Edin Dzeko reached out to Negredo on Twitter:
Negredo netted nine goals and provided a trio of assists during 32 Premier League appearances last campaign, while he scored five and set up one in eight Champions League displays, per WhoScored.com.
Despite losing his place to Dzeko as the 2013-14 season concluded, Negredo's fitness is pivotal to Manuel Pellegrini's hopes of keeping his team fresh. The Chilean has been forced to deal with multiple Sergio Aguero injuries since arriving and won't be pleased to see his Argentinian striker suffered niggling problems during the World Cup, per Metro.
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Similarly, Stevan Jovetic is yet to consistently impress after a string of fitness problems during his debut campaign with the champions.
Negredo was said to be a potential transfer target for Real Madrid, reported by Simon Jones and Kieran Gill of the Daily Mail. The 28-year-old will now surely be overlooked until he regains fitness and form, even though he is content to remain at the Etihad, per BBC Sport:
"I don't want to leave City," said Negredo. "I'm very happy and very settled here. I had a difficult end to the season and that's why there has been a lot of talking, but I've been very happy here from the first day I arrived."
The powerful Spanish forward now faces a difficult type of challenge as he bids to make a speedy recovery. City's attacking options are certainly less potent without the classy finisher's influence and will heap reliance on Dzeko ahead of the new campaign.
Pellegrini is limited to who he can bring in after City's brush with UEFA's Financial Fair Play rules, meaning the Bosnian could be his key man next year.