Guardi­ola won’t hit the Jan­uary sales

Evening Times - - SPORT -

PEP GUARDI­OLA in­sists he will not be adding to his Manch­ester City squad in Jan­uary.

The cham­pi­ons’ fal­ter­ing start in the Premier League this sea­son has led to spec­u­la­tion they may seek to ad­dress their de­fen­sive prob­lems in next month’s trans­fer win­dow.

The de­par­ture of Vin­cent Kom­pany at the end of last term and a se­ri­ous in­jury to Aymeric La­porte has left City boss Guardi­ola short of spe­cial­ist cen­tre-backs.

Mid­fielder Fer­nand­inho has been op­er­at­ing in the back four as a re­sult but, with City hav­ing fallen 11 points behind lead­ers Liverpool, may need to strengthen to meet their am­bi­tions.

Yet, while Guardi­ola ac­knowl­edges a need to re­gen­er­ate his squad, he is not in­tend­ing to do it mid-sea­son.

“I don’t want any play­ers in Jan­uary,” the for­mer Barcelona man­ager said.

“If we can­not do it in sum­mer, we can­not do it in Jan­uary.”

The chief rea­son for this is be­cause Guardi­ola wants long-term so­lu­tions rather than short-term fixes, and Jan­uary op­tions are likely to be lim­ited.

He said: “When they come in Jan­uary for the next four, five, six years maybe we could think about it, but that is not pos­si­ble.

“Nor­mally the play­ers we could think would be in­ter­est­ing and add some­thing to our squad – they are not go­ing to be sold.”

A re­fresh is likely in the sum­mer, how­ever, with one de­par­ture con­firmed as vet­eran David Silva moves on. There is also un­cer­tainty about the fu­ture of 34-year-old Fer­nand­inho, who is out of con­tract at the end of the sea­son.

Guardi­ola said: “Yes, David’s con­firmed he’s leav­ing. Fer­nand­inho doesn’t know but it’s nor­mal for play­ers that arrive at his age and this stage of their lives.”

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