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DENAYER DILEMMA

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IT looks as though Ronny Deila’s hopes of persuading Manchester City to allow Jason Denayer to remain at Celtic for another season-long period will be dashed.
Etihad boss Manuel Pellegrini has admitted that his club’s young Academy players are not yet ready to step into his first team squad.

It’s odds-on the impressive Denayer, who made his full Belgium international debut during the week against Nir Bitton’s Israel, will be told he will be staying with the English giants for the challenges of the new term.

Pellegrini’s comments confirm that City will be required to invest heavily in ‘homegrown’ talent this summer. Current Premier League regulations require clubs to carry a minimum eight homegrown players, a group which can include youngsters who have spent three of their formative years at an English club.

Denayer, 19, falls into this category – making him all the more attractive to City next season.

Pellegrini said: “‘I think about the Academy, we must be patient. This club build all these things because young players are important.

“Maybe it’s not so easy for young players, especially at big clubs, to play in the first team, with the professional squad.

“I”m sure, in the future, we will have very important players coming from the Academy, they will be part of the squad. But it’s important to be patient, important to have years of working the same way.”

Denayer and a number of young City professionals, including PSV’s Karim Rekik and Marcos Lopes, at Lille, are on loan and may be brought back to plug some of the holes next season.

That will leave Deila with a headache as he puts together another central defensive partnership with Charlie Mulgrew, out for most of this season injured, being an option to step back from a holding midfield role to play in central defence.

Hearts skipper Danny Wilson – as CQNMagazine exclusively revealed at the start of the week – is on the Hoops’ radar and others will be scouted between now and the kick-off to the new campaign.

More and more, though, it looks as though Parkhead fans are witnessing Denayer’s final games in a Celtic jersey.

 
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