Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini has revealed the club's African players will be available for the FA Cup tie against their bitter Premier League rivals Manchester United.
Manchester City host Manchester United on January 8 in the hotly anticipated FA Cup third round in what will be a huge opportunity to strike a blow into their respective trophy aspirations this season.
Manchester City had initially hoped to have the likes of Yaya Toure and brother Kolo, both of whom are key players for the Ivory Coast, available for their Premier League encounters against Wigan on 16January, but the aforementioned Italian tactician now suggests the duo will depart for the African Nations Cup after their match against Sir Alex Ferguson's Manchester United.
Yaya Toure, who was recently named the 2011 African Footballer of the Year, played an instrumental role in Manchester City's 6-1 destruction of Manchester United at Old Trafford in August and Mancini will be delighted to have the 28-year-old available for the derby at the beginning of next month.
Speaking about the availability of the Kolo brothers, the Manchester City boss suggested the pair would almost certainly be available for the game against Manchester United but that he remained hopeful they could also be in England for the Carling Cup tie against Liverpool on 11January.
"It is difficult but I think they will leave us after Manchester United,' The Manchester City manager said. "We have talked with their manager three days ago and will talk again with the Ivory Coast president.
"We will try but it is difficult."
Manchester City and Manchester United were both drawn against each other on 4 December in the tie of the round. The rivalry has intensified over the last 12-months following the emergence of their 'noisy neighbours' and Sir Alex Ferguson will inevitably hope to avenge their humbling defeat earlier in the season.