Belfast Telegraph

Man City still grounded as pre-season plans fail to take off

Premier League champions were due to be in China by now.

Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City have had travel problems (Nick Potts/PA)
Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City have had travel problems (Nick Potts/PA)

Manchester City’s pre-season preparations have been plunged into disarray after their flight to China was delayed for a second time.

The Premier League champions were due to fly to Shanghai ahead of the Premier League Asia Trophy on Saturday but that was put back 24 hours due to an administrative issue involving travel agent Thomas Cook.

The problem had still not been resolved by Sunday evening, meaning that Pep Guardiola and his squad were now set to leave on Monday.

That would leave City little acclimatisation time ahead of their opening match in the exhibition tournament against West Ham in Nanjing on Wednesday.

However, the Premier League is confident City will be there and communications manager David Antill said: “Manchester City have experienced administrative issues with their travel to China but these are being addressed and they will not affect their participation in the Premier League Asia Trophy. We look forward to welcoming them in China very soon.”

After Wednesday’s game, City will either play in the final or the third-placed play-off against Wolves or Newcastle in Shanghai on Saturday.

City complete their tour with friendlies in Hong Kong and Japan next week.

Guardiola and Wolves counterpart Nuno Espirito Santo were due to hold press conferences in Shanghai on Monday but this was due to go ahead without the City boss.

PA

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