Eliaquim Mangala's Manchester City debut is set to be delayed as manager Manuel Pellegrini does not believe his most expensive summer signing is yet fit to play.
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The France international became the costliest defender in the history of English football when he wrapped up a 32 million-pound move from Porto earlier this month.
But Mangala has not been in the squad for City's first two Premier League games of the campaign and Pellegrini is unlikely to consider him for Saturday's home match against Stoke.
He said in his news conference after Monday's 3-1 win over Liverpool: "We will see after the international break with Mangala, I think Stoke is too early for him."
City face Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 13 before beginning their Champions League campaign, with the draw for the group stage this Thursday.
Meanwhile, Pellegrini has allayed fears that Edin Dzeko has suffered a serious injury after the Bosnian was taken off in the second half against Liverpool.
The Premier League champions are already without one injured striker, in Alvaro Negredo, but their manager does not expect Dzeko to join him on the sidelines, adding: "It is a kick, he had some trouble with his leg but I don't think it is anything important. We will see but I think he will be OK."
Pellegrini also praised striker Stevan Jovetic, who scored his first league brace for the club to decide the Liverpool game.
The Montenegrin endured an injury-hit first year in England but is fully fit now and Pellegrini said: "He was working the whole game, without the ball too. He was very unlucky last season but we never had any doubt about this quality. To start the season in this way after an unlucky season is good."