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Manchester City short on cover for Fernandinho after Douglas Luiz is refused work permit

Douglas Luiz will have no role in Manchester City’s squad this season – despite the club’s best efforts – with major Brazilian source Globo Esporte reporting that he has been denied a work permit.

Both Pep Guardiola and Brazil coach Tite, who has Douglas on his radar for a future national team call up, wrote letters of support for the 20-year-old, but that did not soften the decision-makers’ stance that he doesn’t qualify for one.

Therefore, City will most likely have to loan the former Vasco da Gama player out again, with a second stint at Girona FC one possibility.

It leaves City light on cover for Fernandinho after Pep Guardiola admitted days ago that he was short on players of that profile. Though several, such as Ilkay Gundogan, Danilo, Oleksandr Zinchenko, and potentially John Stones, can step in, none of them have quite the same skill set and tenacity for the role as 33-year-old Fernandinho. Fabian Delph may be an option, with Benjamin Mendy’s return freeing the England international to return to his midfield role if necessary.

Guardiola had hoped for another midfielder in before the transfer deadline, but despite brief links with a move for Steven N’Zonzi, there was no sign of activity at the Etihad Stadium on Thursday.

“We would like to find maybe one more because we don’t have players to substitute Fernandinho, but if he doesn’t come then we will stay as we are,” Guardiola said after the weekend win over Chelsea at Wembley.

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