Vincent Kompany injury leaves Manuel Pellegrini considering move for a defender

Early blow to Premier League title contenders

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The Independent Football

Manchester City are expected to step up their attempts to sign defensive cover after confirmation that their captain, Vincent Kompany, could be sidelined for a month with a groin injury.

Kompany limped out of Monday’s 4-0 victory over Newcastle and now looks set to miss City’s next two matches, against Cardiff and Hull. The 27-year-old is also likely to be unavailable for Belgium’s World Cup qualifier against Scotland next month.

City’s manager, Manuel Pellegrini, hopes he could be back in time for the trip to face Stoke on 14 September, although it is likely that the Manchester derby at the Etihad Stadium eight days later will be pencilled in for his return.

“I prefer the doctor to say the last word, but I think [Kompany will be out for] at least one month. The doctor can give more information,” Pellegrini said.

Kompany’s absence leaves City’s new manager hoping Matija Nastasic, who suffered an ankle injury last month, will be fit to return at Cardiff tomorrow. The Serbian defender was expected to miss the first month of the season but returned to training this week.

Pellegrini said: “We will see. Nastasic is working normally with the squad and we will see if he starts.”

Having allowed Kolo Touré to join Liverpool and with Micah Richards still sidelined with a knee problem, City could press Javi Garcia into a makeshift defensive role alongside Joleon Lescott should Nastasic not recover in time.

Pellegrini is still thought to be keen on bringing in Pepe from Real Madrid, where he has recently fallen behind Rafaël Varane in the pecking order at the Santiago Bernabeu. However, a £30m price tag could mean he switches his attention to Martin Demichelis from Atletico Madrid.

The 32-year-old only signed on a free transfer from Malaga in June but would be keen to be reunited with Pellegrini at City.