Manchester City's academy players are expected to be available for the club's summer friendly against Preston next week despite being unable to train after a Covid-19 outbreak.

The Under-18s and Under-23s were together last week for a training camp that first had to be relocated from Loughborough when a small number tested positive before a building at the City Football Academy was closed and all players and staff told to stay away from the campus for 10 days when the cases jumped into double figures.

While the action was taken to prevent the risk for Pep Guardiola and his first-team stars, who returned to the training ground on Monday, it did leave the manager without a sizable chunk of academy talent to swell a group heavily depleted by the absence of players who participated in the European Championship and Copa America this summer.

Ben Knight, a 19-year-old winger, and Shea Charles, a 17-year-old centre-back, are among the youngsters who have been able to train this week after not being part of the group who were sent home.

With no more senior players returning in time for Tuesday's friendly against Preston, Guardiola will be able to call on the academy players that have been kept away from the CFA this week. How much and how well they are able to play is another matter after their enforced break - especially those who actually tested positive, given how draining on fitness the virus can be - but a significant number are expected to be included in the fixture.

City's manager had hoped to use the summer to get a closer look at promising starlets including Cole Palmer, Liam Delap and James McAtee, as well as emerging talent such as Yan Couto, a Brazilian right-back who impressed on loan at Girona last season.

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