Roberto Mancini expects key midfielder Yaya Toure to leave Manchester City for the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa in January.
The City manager had wanted to retain Toure's services during the early part of 2013 but has confirmed the midfielder is keen to compete in the tournament.
Toure is expected to join up with the Ivory Coast squad following the Premier League club's third round FA Cup tie on January 5.
Mancini said: "I think he will go to the African Nations Cup after the Watford game."
Toure was involved in the 2012 competition when the Ivory Coast reached the final before losing to Zambia on penalties. Next year's competition runs from January 19 to February 10.
Meanwhile, Mancini believes skipper Vincent Kompany has only a 'two per cent' chance of being fit for Saturday's trip to Newcastle after he suffered a groin injury against Manchester United last Sunday.
And while City will give the Belgium international every chance of making the trip to St James' Park, M...