Thursday, 21 March, 2019

Guardiola admits struggle in finding 'new' Fernandinho

Manchester City v Wolverhampton Wanderers – Premier League – Etihad Stadium Manchester City v Wolverhampton Wanderers – Premier League – Etihad Stadium
Cassandra Castillo | 14 January, 2019, 11:11

"It's not easy to find the specific quality of the players [who can play holding midfield]". We are not going to pay £100m for a holding midfielder. Normally when you are involved with Madrid and Barcelona you are going to lose.

The 33-year-old Brazilian has become one of the most important players in City's line-up during Guardiola's three seasons at the club, with his hard work and passing ability as a holding midfielder providing both security in front of the defence and scope for the team to attack.

"The big clubs don't buy big players for just six months, and it important players are not sold in this period".

"They defend deep, switch play, control many areas". But I'm not talking about the case of the Ajax player because he is an Ajax player. "Specifically Fernandinho's role, it's so hard to find".

Discussing the importance of squad depth ahead of Monday night's Premier League visit of Wolves, Guardiola told press: "Everybody is important. He'll be 34 and he can not play every few days". Our wage bill for the players is eighth or ninth or tenth in Europe, so there are eight or nine clubs where the wages are higher than what Manchester City pay.

Gundogan's contract expires at the end of next season and City are keen to tie the 28-year-old to a new deal.

Guardiola said he had not spoken to Kevin De Bruyne after the Belgium global went straight down the tunnel after being substituted in the 9-0 Carabao Cup thrashing of Burton Albion.

Willy Boly stands over Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva prior to his dismissal
Willy Boly stands over Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva prior to his dismissal

'But of course, we cannot substitute the mother and when the family can't be there, it's hard.

"When we win, people don't ask about the players we play".

That is part of the reason why their task of finding his successor is not easy, and despite Guardiola's call for speed and efficiency in the market he says his superiors, including sporting director Txiki Begiristain, are doing a hard job very well.

'I think it won't be a problem for the next months'.

"I would say they are incredible, top at what they are doing".

The manager said City would do everything they can to help Gabriel Jesus after close relatives including his mother, Vera Lucia Diniz de Jesus, returned to Brazil.

More news: Unai Emery 'wants to sell Mesut Ozil this month'

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