Vincent Kompany in line for Man City return

Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany is set to return at Everton tomorrow after two months out with a knee injury and could partner former Toffees defender John Stones.
Vincent Kompany in line for Man City return

City, fourth in the table, face a difficult test at Goodison Park in a match that sees defender Stones return to his former club.

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.

Guardiola said: “He has trained. The last two or three days he was a full part of the training sessions, so he is back.”

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.”

Guardiola is confident England international Stones, who joined City in a £50m (€57.2m) deal last summer, can handle any abuse from home fans.

The City boss 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.”

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.

Meanwhile, Ronald Koeman has welcomed new recruit Morgan Schneiderlin to Everton while warning there are players in his squad who “don’t really have a future” with the Toffees.

Schneiderlin became Everton’s second recruit of the January transfer window on Thursday, the French midfielder moving from Manchester United to reunite with the manager he had previously worked under at Southampton.

That came a week on from teenage winger Ademola Lookman joining from Charlton.

Koeman has expressed interest in United’s Memphis Depay — although Lyon have emerged as a leading candidate for the winger’s signature — and it has been reported Everton have agreed a fee with Belgian side Standard Liege for their forward Ishak Belfodil.

Asked yesterday about the prospect of making further additions to what had already been brought in, with Depay and Belfodil’s names being put to him, Koeman said: “We are still working to improve the team and if we can make a deal for one or two more players, then we will.

“But we saw the situation of Morgan — we had interest in the player for a long time, but it’s not easy to do a deal and sometimes it needs more time than expected. We know we have until the end of January.”

In terms of outgoings, midfielder Tom Cleverley and striker Oumar Niasse have both gone on loan this week, joining Watford and Hull respectively.

And when Koeman was asked if there was the potential for more departures, he said: “Most of the players know the situation — and some players, actually in the squad now, they don’t really have a future at Everton.”

Koeman confirmed the match-day squad for the City game will include Schneiderlin, and said of the 27-year-old: “He is really that midfield player I like.

“He can play as a holding midfielder, he can play more offensively, he is clever in the game and he is aggressive. He brings different qualities to Everton and that is why we signed him.”

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