Mancini: Boateng could start Euro tie

Roberto Mancini is debating whether to hand Jerome Boateng his first Manchester City start in Thursday’s Europa League tie with Juventus at Eastlands.

Boateng finally made his debut as a late substitute in Saturday’s win over Chelsea after an injury-plagued start to life at City.

The 22-year-old £10.4m signing from Hamburg was due to make a late return for pre-season training anyway after starring in Germany’s run to the World Cup semi-finals.

But he aggravated a knee injury in a bizarre collision with an in-flight meals trolley last month, condemning him to a further period of rehabilitation.

Only last week was Boateng able to join the City squad in training and he was far from fully fit on Saturday, meaning Mancini preferred to use him off the bench.

However, with Juventus due in Manchester later this week and then Newcastle on Sunday, the Blues boss is deciding what route to take next.

“Maybe Boateng will get a start,” said Mancini. “He needs to take things very softly because I don’t think he is quite ready yet. He needs to work and train.”

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