Manchester City are considering rushing Yaya Toure and Wilfried Bony back from the African Cup of Nations should Ivory Coast be eliminated on Wednesday, according to the Daily Star.
Ivory Coast need to beat Cameroon in their final group stage fixture to be sure of progression, and should they fail City will fly the duo straight back to England ahead of a crucial top of the table clash on Sunday.
City travel to Chelsea knowing they can close the gap on the leaders to just two points with a win, and many feel they have a far better chance of doing so with Toure in the team.
City air miles
Should Ivory Coast be eliminated the duo could be on a plane by Thursday ready for the 3,500 trip back from Equatorial Guinea, where the tournament is currently taking place.
City stars have got used to racking up the air miles of late with the whole first team squad flying to Abu Dhabi for a mid-season friendly and a meet and great with club owners.
They arrived back in Manchester just 19 hours before the disastrous 2-0 FA Cup defeat to Middlesbrough, but Toure and Bony would have over 48 hours to recover from the journey before being called in to action against Jose Mourinho's men.
Questions were raised over City's decision to send their first team squad half way across the world in the middle of the season, and following the result against Championship outfit, 'Boro, Pellegrini has been forced to take the brunt of the criticism.
The City boss was faced with the allegation that the trip went ahead because his team were playing a lower league team in a cup competition, and that his side would not have been made to travel like that ahead of a game of the magnitude of the meeting with Chelsea with Sunday.
In response, Pellegrini said: "It was not a game with Chelsea. I don't want to say because you are telling me something that is not relevant."
He was also keen to insist the trip had no bearing on the result against Aitor Karanka's men, pointing out that both Chelsea and Tottenham also lost over the weekend.
He said: "Chelsea stayed here, they did not go to Abu Dhabi. Tottenham stayed here, they did not go to Abu Dhabi.
"I don't think that was the major reason why we didn't win, but I accept all the opinions."
Will Toure make a difference?
That City are keen to rush back their Ivorian duo highlights just how important Toure is to their team.
In his absence they've taken just one point from a possible six in the Premier League and exited the FA Cup at the fourth round stage - leaving just the league and Champions League as possible silverware this campaign.
If he is return to the squad to face Chelsea, City will hope Toure can nullify the impact of the influential Cesc Fabregas in the middle of the park.
Meanwhile Bony will be keen to finally make his City debut following his big money January switch.
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