‘Discussions’ - What Paul Heckingbottom said on James McAtee & Tommy Doyle playing in Man City vs Sheff Utd

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The on-loan Manchester City players won’t be eligible to play for Sheffield United in the FA Cup semi-final.

Paul Heckingbottom said he hopes to ‘have a conversation’ with Pep Guardiola about the possibility of allowing Tommy Doyle and James McAtee to play for Sheffield United against Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-final, as per the Sheffield Star.

The youngsters are both on loan at the Blades from the Premier League champions and have played a huge role in Sheffield United getting to the last four of the competition, and in their impressive promotion campaign, with the side currently second in the Championship. The duo started at Bramall Lane on Sunday as the Yorkshire side beat Blackburn Rovers 3-2 in the quarter-final, with Doyle netting an injury-time winner to send Sheffield United to Wembley.

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But the pair won’t be eligible to play against their parent club next month, and will therefore sit the game out. Speaking before the semi-final draw was made, Heckingbottom admitted he hoped to avoid City given the situation surrounding Doyle and McAtee.

“There would have to be discussions,” the Sheffield United manager said, when asked what would happen if his side drew Pep Guardiola’s men. “They are here with us. But they are their [Manchester City’s] players.

My wish is now that we don’t draw City,” he added. “Because that would complicate things with the loans.”

Doyle, whose grandfathers both won the FA Cup with City 54 years ago, has played in four of the club’s five games in the tournament this season, and has previously made seven senior appearances for the Blues.

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As for McAtee, he’s played 35 times for the Blades this season and has scored five goals for the club. The 20-year-old made his debut for City last season and earned six appearances for the team in the 2021/22 campaign.

Meanwhile, City progressed to the semi-finals on Saturday courtesy of a 6-0 home win over Burnley.

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