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City preparing for cull as five players face exit

Richard Jolly | ESPN FC
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Manchester City could let five players go before the transfer window closes with Javi Garcia potentially the first to leave the Etihad Stadium.

Zenit St Petersburg are in talks with City about Garcia although, despite reports that a £13 million move has been agreed, a source told ESPN that no deal has been finalised yet.

Matija Nastasic, Micah Richards, Scott Sinclair and Karim Rekik could also depart as Manuel Pellegrini reduces his squad and City look to recoup some money.

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The Premier League champions completed their summer signings by bringing in Porto defender Eliaquim Mangala for £32m and now attention has turned to players who are either surplus to requirements or who are unlikely to get enough first-team football.

City had no room left for Garcia when Mangala arrived, becoming the 18th non-homegrown player in their squad when they are only permitted to name 17 in their 25-man Premier League squad and 16 in their 21-man European squad.

The 27-year-old, who joined from Benfica two years ago, made 76 appearances during his two seasons in Manchester and finished the campaign, when he played 43 times, in the starting XI.

However, the arrivals of Fernando, who has replaced him as the defensive midfielder in the group, and on-loan Frank Lampard mean he would be sidelined.

While City are in no rush to sell Nastasic, there is a recognition the Serb's situation has changed and they will listen to appropriate offers for the 21-year-old. Mangala's arrival means the former Fiorentina player is now the fourth-choice centre-back and, as long as the Frenchman, Vincent Kompany and Martin Demichelis are fit, his opportunities will be limited.

Richards is the club's longest-serving player and has made 255 appearances since debuting in 2005 but has barely featured during two, injury-hit years. Pellegrini has signed Bacary Sagna to compete with Pablo Zabaleta for the right-back position.

Sinclair, who arrived from Swansea in 2012, has only started three games for City and was loaned to West Brom last season. Like Richards, he is only available for a permanent transfer and City do not want to consider another loan. However, 19-year-old defender Rekik is expected to rejoin PSV Eindhoven on loan after playing for the Eredivisie side last year.

City have signed six players this summer, bringing in Mangala, Fernando, Lampard, Sagna, goalkeeper Willy Caballero and midfielder Bruno Zuculini.

So far, they have brought in £12m with Jack Rodwell joining Sunderland for £10m and Gareth Barry's move to Everton netting them £2m.

This article originally appeared on ESPN FC

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