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Man City forced to delay pre-season tour of China after plane troubles

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Manchester City forced to delay pre-season tour of China as their plane had to be grounded in UK after being refused airspaceManchester City have been forced to delay travel plans for tour of ChinaCity were due to fly out on Saturday but their flight was refused airspace The City squad and staff have been left stranded at Manchester Airport They'll fly to China on Sunday and will still play in Premier League Asia Trophy

Manchester City's pre-season got off to a disastrous start on Saturday after the Premier League champions were left stranded at home instead of flying to Asia on tour.

Pep Guardiola's squad were due to jet off to China for the first leg of their trip at 6pm but an administration error by Thomas Cook saw the flight cancelled.

Staff were left milling around Manchester Airport in confusion as they attempted to ascertain the extent of the issue, while players were told not to bother making their way to the airport. 

Manchester City have been forced to delay travel plans for their pre-season tour of China

City were due to fly out to Shanghai on Saturday evening, but their plane was refused airspace

Due to an unforeseen administrative issue beyond the Club’s control, which is being resolved, regrettably, we will embark on our pre-season tour a little later than intended. We will now travel tomorrow and look forward to taking part in the Premier League Asia Trophy as planned.

— Manchester City (@ManCity) July 13, 2019

It is understood the blunder meant City's plane, stuck on the runway, could not enter the Chinese airspace and they will instead travel on Sunday.

The dramatic events pose a significant headache for the club, who are now 24 hours behind schedule ahead of a gruelling two weeks in Asia.

City first game of the Premier League Asia Trophy is against West Ham United in Nanjing on Wednesday.

There is a race against time for Guardiola to make his first press conference of the campaign, pencilled in for Monday in Shanghai. City had planned to launch their new Puma third strip on the same day and it remains to be seen whether that now changes. 

City members of staff were left stranded at Manchester Airport as they waited for their flight

A City staff member's luggage pictured at a check-in desk at Manchester Airport on Saturday

After a week in China, City head to Hong Kong and Japan – playing four games in total – before taking on Liverpool in the Community Shield on August 4.

City said in a statement: 'Due to an unforeseen administrative issue beyond the Club's control, which is being resolved, regrettably, we will embark on our pre-season tour a little later than intended.

'We will now travel tomorrow and look forward to taking part in the Premier League Asia Trophy as planned.'

Fabian Delph is not part of the touring group as he seals a move worth up to £10million to Everton. Aston Villa are spending £15m on another midfielder, Douglas Luiz, who is also absent from the squad. Leroy Sane, a target for Bayern Munich, will travel.

MAN CITY'S TRAVELLING SQUAD

Claudio Bravo, Kyle Walker, Danilo, John Stones, Raheem Sterling, Ilkay Gundogan, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Angelino, Aymeric Laporte, Rodri, Kevin De Bruyne, Leroy Sane, Bernardo Silva, David Silva, Daniel Grimshaw, Lukas Nmecha, Nabili Zoubdi Touaizi, Gavin Bazunu, Jose Angel Pozo, Tommy Doyle, Luke Bolton, Aleix Garcia, Taylor Harwood-Bellis, Adrian Bernabe, Ian Poveda, Ben Knight, Phil Foden*

*Phil Foden will join the tour squad in Hong Kong SAR 

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