While speculation surrounded the departure of Edin Dzeko from Manchester City, coach Manuel Pellegrini insists the striker will stay at the club and is a pivotal part of his plans for the future.
Following very little game time last season, it was rumoured that Dzeko would be leaving the Sky Blues, but with the departure of a number of City’s strikers the Bosnian’s importance at the club has grown.
City's strike force has a new look to it after Alvaro Negredo and Stevan Jovetic were signed and Carlos Tevez followed Mario Balotelli out of the Etihad Stadium into Serie A football in Italy.
And now Pellegrini says Dzeko has always been a part of his plans at the Manchester club.
The statements from the City boss come after Dzeko scored the only goal of the game as City beat Sunderland on Saturday to win the Asia Trophy, and was named Player of the Tournament after his spectacular strike.
"Not only in Hong Kong (will Dzeko be important). I have a lot of trust in him,” said Pellegrini to Sky Sports.
"Everyone was talking before I arrived that we will bring in [Edinson] Cavani, [Robert] Lewandowski, all those players. But I always trusted in Edin Dzeko and he is now playing the way I want.
"I am sure he will continue improving."