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Guendogan targets September debut for Manchester City

German national soccer player Ilkay Guendogan attends a news conference in Frankfurt, Germany, October 6, 2015. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski/Files
German national soccer player Ilkay Guendogan attends a news conference in Frankfurt, Germany, October 6, 2015. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski/Files

(Reuters) - Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Guendogan has said his recovery from a knee injury sustained in May is progressing well, with the German international confident he can regain full fitness by September.

Guendogan, who joined City from Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund last month, was ruled out of Euro 2016 after hurting his kneecap in training but is keen to link up with manager Pep Guardiola in time to face derby rivals Manchester United.

"Until now everything is going like we want. The plan was to return at the end of August, start of September and that's still the plan. No pressure from the doctors and everyone, but I want to be fit as soon as possible," Guendogan told British media.

"So hopefully I want to be ready at the end of August."

When asked if he would be fit enough to make his debut in the derby at Old Trafford on Sept. 10, the 25-year-old hinted: "Could be."

"Right now I am in the most exciting place on earth maybe for football. It's going to be a big fight next season in the whole Premier League... not just Manchester City and United. We have a lot of expectations."

City, who finished fourth last season, kick off their 2016-17 campaign with a home match against Sunderland on Aug. 13 when former Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach Guardiola will make his managerial debut in the English top flight.

(Reporting by Ian Rodricks in Bengaluru; Editing by John O'Brien)

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