After the Champions League group stage came to a close on Wednesday, attentions now turn to the Premier League, and a trip to the Emirates awaits. Arsenal are still without a manager, as City number two, Mikel Arteta, continues to be linked with the vacant role.
The boss faced the media before this one and here are the main talking points…
Another update from Pep Guardiola on the ever-growing injury situation. Both Sergio Aguero and John Stones are NOT training with the squad and therefore will not be fit to play any part in this one. David Silva is also a ‘doubt‘, as he wasn’t risked on Wednesday night due a blow to a ‘dangerous part of his knee’.
“He’s not fit now, but maybe tomorrow he will train and we’ll see. He had a kick on his leg, it’s not painful.”
No ‘Break Clause’ in Guardiola’s contract
From a report this morning, there was a suggestion that Guardiola may have a ‘break clause‘ in his contract, allowing for the manager to leave the club at the end of the season. Luckily for City fans, Guardiola quashed these rumours today stating there is NOT one in his current contract.
Pep on Jurgen’s new deal
Liverpool confirmed this morning that they’ve signed a new deal with current boss Jurgen Klopp, securing the German’s services with the reds until 2024. Guardiola had this to say on the news surrounding his rival manager:
“I congratulate him and Liverpool on extending for five years. He deserves it.”
Pep on possible new defenders
Guardiola was asked about any plans to fill City’s current problem position – the defence. In particular, he was asked about current Bournemouth defender Nathan Ake. His answer was short and similar to what he usually says regarding potential new signings:
“We don’t speak about players, these players who started the season will finish it.”
Pep on Freddie and Arsenal
Guardiola was asked about his opposition this weekend, and in particular the opposition’s current interim boss, Freddie Ljunberg. Guardiola feels that the former player will be popular amongst the fans:
“It was a position after Unai Emery situation. He’s a person who stayed a long time at Arsenal – he knows the feelings of the club and the fans, how they like to play.”
He was also full of praise for how Arsenal play in attacking areas of the field:
“We will watch the previous Arsenal games and figure out what they will do. Arsenal have a typical style of play. They have quality between the lines with Ozil and Lacazette. Arsenal away is always a test for any team.”
Arteta coming up against his future employers?
Questions were obviously going to asked about Mikel Arteta, and his rumoured switch to North London to take up the managerial position. Guardiola, as he’s always said, believes the Spaniard is ready:
“You can be a 45-year-old and believe you’re not ready [to become a manager] and 35 and believe you’re ready. Only he knows.”
Pep on Phil Foden
After a magnificent performance on Wednesday night, Phil Foden has been the centre of a lot of discussion to start the game this weekend. Guardiola has said that he trusts Foden, after he reached 50 Manchester City appearances in midweek:
“He played 50 games at 19-years-old, in one of the top teams in Europe. We’re delighted with him, he had a really good game on Wednesday and he’s going to have incredible games in the future…
He deserves it, the way he’s trained, the way he is a person. He’s more mature all the time, he’s played a lot, maybe not 50 games at 90 minutes but he’s been involved in good moments and difficult moments. We trust him a lot.”
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