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City release trio

Image: Petrov: Leaving City

Manchester City have begun to cut their squad by announcing the departures of three players.

Eastlands exodus begins

Manchester City have begun to cut their squad by announcing the departures of three players during the summer. With manager Roberto Mancini set to strengthen his side with a wealth of riches of offer, City have decided to allow winger Martin Petrov, striker Benjani and full-back Sylvinho to leave the club after their contracts expired. Petrov and Benjani were signed by former boss Sven Goran Eriksson after Thaksin Shinawatra's takeover, but following the Abu Dhabi United group's buyout in 2008, both players have seen their chances limited. Petrov is likely to have a few options ahead of him after initially impressing at Eastlands, making 34 appearances and scoring five goals in his first campaign. However, he has become out of favour after suffering from a catalogue of injuries and the arrivals of Shaun Wright-Phillips, Adam Johnson and Craig Bellamy affecting his first team chances. Petrov had a short stint in the starting line-up upon Mancini's arrival in December 2009, but injuries yet again have set the Bulgaria international back.

Lack of opportunities

Benjani leaves the club two-and-a-half years after joining from Portsmouth after failing to impress on a loan spell at Sunderland. The 31-year-old is another to have suffered from serious injury problems but has seen himself a long way from the first team with Emmanuel Adebayor, Carlos Tevez and Roque Santa Cruz all ahead of him in the pecking order. Former Arsenal and Barcelona full-back Sylvinho leaves after just one year back in England and may seek a return to Spain. Former manager Mark Hughes obtained the 35-year-old veteran as an experienced back-up in his defence, but Mancini has not utilised the player and allowed him to see out his final years at another club. Also released are striker Jack Redshaw, goalkeeper Tobias Johansen and midfielder Karl Moore.

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