Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini says city rivals United will be dangerous on Sunday, with or without captain Wayne Rooney.

The England forward had been due to return to the United line-up after suspension in this weekend’s big derby at the Etihad.

Wayne Rooney: Injury doubt for Sunday

But reports have emerged claiming he was seen limping at a sponsors’ event at Old Trafford on Monday and could be doubtful, although United have made no comment on the situation.

Rooney is the record goalscorer in Manchester derbies, having bagged 11 in 22 games for United.

But City boss Pellegrini denied that his team will see it as a massive plus if Rooney does end up missing out.

"I think Rooney is a very important player for Manchester United but I think that big teams never depend on one player,” he said.

“They have enough important, creative players to replace him."

Pellegrini added that the United game would not be uppermost in his thoughts in any case, until after Wednesday’s Capital One Cup tie against Newcastle.

"We are thinking just about Newcastle,” he said. “When we finish with Newcastle, we will start thinking about Manchester United.

"We have three games in a row here at home in three competitions, so I think it is very important to be thinking just about the Capital One Cup and, after that, we will start thinking about Manchester United."

Pellegrini has confirmed Samir Nasri is fit and in the squad for Wednesday's game - Nasri has been out for six weeks with a groin problem.

But Frank Lampard will miss the match with a thigh injury- and is also likely to miss the derby.