Pep Guardiola has confirmed that tonight’s Carabao Cup second leg will see each side contain a mix of Manchester City and Burton Albion players. The unusual move — not forbidden under FA rules — was agreed with Burton boss Nigel Clough to avoid a repeat of the embarrassing first leg scoreline.
“I dreamt of playing for Burton as a lad,” Raheem Sterling told Soccer on Sunday. “And I woke up screaming, drenched in what I hope was sweat. It was one of those recurring dreams, like your teeth falling out, or your legs not working when you’re being chased by a creature with the body of a T-Rex and the head of Brendan Rodgers.”
“I told the gaffer I won’t do it,” added the England international. “But he says if I don’t play in goal for Burton tonight, he’ll sell me to them for 50 quid.”
Nigel Clough admits that he would be interested in taking Sterling to Burton on a permanent deal.
“We’re always looking to add quality,” he told Soccer on Sunday. “50 quid is a little steep, so I’ll need to talk to the chairman. It might mean closing the academy and letting our mascot Paddy the Platypus go. Paddy’s on the highest wages at the club, which I know doesn’t sit well with some of the players.”
“Raheem’s wages could be a problem,” added Clough. “But I’m sure we can offer a competitive package. Dry-cleaning allowance, subsidised canteen, use of the minivan at weekends so long as he returns it with a tank of petrol. The ball’s in Raheem’s court now, to be fair.”