13 Jan Jesus waiting on registration
Gabriel Jesus may have to wait for his Manchester City debut but captain Vincent Kompany could return at Everton on Sunday.
Jesus, the Brazil striker signed from Palmeiras last summer, officially joined City this month but his registration has not yet gone through.
City insist that, contrary to some reports, there has not been a snag with the 19-year-old’s signing but the process of administration is taking some time.
“He cannot play – papers,” manager Pep Guardiola said at a press conference. “When Palmeiras and the FA solve the problems he will be able to play.”
Most of the paperwork has been done and the club are confident the remainder will be completed soon, meaning Jesus could be available to face Tottenham in the Premier League next weekend.
The issue may not have overly concerned Guardiola this week, however, with the Spaniard having previously said the player needs to build up match fitness in training.
One player who is in contention though is Kompany, who has been declared fit after two months out with a knee injury.
Guardiola said: “He has trained. The last two or three days he was a full part of the training sessions, so he is back.”
Kompany has not played a full match since April and has been hampered by a series of problems in recent seasons, with his latest injury being his 35th since joining City in 2008.
There is feeling the Belgium defender now needs a run of games to prove he has a long-term future at the club and Guardiola hopes he can stay fit.
He said: “Hopefully he can play and be used for the second part of the season.”
Kompany seems likely to be included in City’s Champions League squad for the knockout stages despite his problems.
The 30-year-old may have been vulnerable because of the form of Yaya Toure, who was not included for the group stages because of limits on overseas players but now looks set to be restored at someone’s expense.
However, Ilkay Gundogan is now likely to make way after suffering a season-ending knee injury. Jesus can also be accommodated because Kelechi Iheanacho, after two years at the club, can now be registered as homegrown.
Guardiola said: “I didn’t think about that but we are going to see. Now Gundogan is out and I think Kelechi goes in another (list), so Gabriel Jesus can be in that position and Yaya can be in that position.
“We are going to see the players who can be used but I think all of them can be ready.”
City, fourth in the table, face a difficult test at Goodison Park in a match that sees defender John Stones return to his former club.
Guardiola is confident the England international, who joined City in a £50million deal last summer, can handle any abuse from home fans.
Guardiola said: “He is strong enough, I don’t have doubt about that.
“Hopefully they can respect him because I know how John respects the club. They helped him to develop his performance and play in the Premier League but, after what happened in the past with other players, I cannot expect absolutely everything.”
Those sentiments were also echoed by Guardiola’s opposite number this weekend, the Everton boss Ronald Koeman.
Koeman said: “I hope (he gets) a good, respectful reception because that is what I like from the crowd. He was an Everton player, he made the move and the club got good money for the boy.”