Men's Team

#cityontour: Pep talks transfers after pens win

PEP TALK: The City boss gives instructions out to his players from the sideline.
Boss Pep Guardiola was in typically candid mood after City's penalty shoot-out win over Borussia Dortmund, talking transfer targets, squad fitness and the remaining pre-season schedule.

City drew 1-1 with the Bundesliga side in normal time in Shenzhen before the spot-kicks win - courtesy of three Angus Gunn saves - to conclude the pre-season tour of China.

The manager didn't dodge transfer-related questions after the game speaking of his interest in Schalke winger Leroy Sane and Everton defender John Stones, while also backing the quality of the players already under his control.

Guardiola said: "Sane is a player from Schalke - you know, I know, everyone knows we would like to have him but at the moment he's a player from Schalke. If he comes, we'll be happy. If he stays, I'll be happy."

Questions on Stones prompted a similar response.

"It's the same answer as for Sane - he's a player for Everton," the boss added. "Everyone knows we're going to try but we will see. I'm so happy with the way we're training."

One young acquisition, Aleks Zinchenko, has already impressed after a lively performance at the Longgang Stadium, while Sterling also drew a mention in the press conference.

"Aleks is a young, young talent - he's so intelligent and has a lot of quality," reflected Guardiola. "He's played two games and of course we have to see his level but we're so, so happy about his performance."

"Sterling will play good - I have confidence. I want to help him a lot and he will help us. I'm satisfied that Raheem is with us."

                        PROSPECT: Aleks Zinchenko
PROSPECT: Aleks Zinchenko

City now head home before a friendly next week at the CFA before the game against Arsenal in Gothenburg on Sunday 7 August.

"Pre-season is pre-season," declared Guardiola. "I would like to have more time with the players from the beginning. I would like more friendlies but the schedule is the schedule. We have to adapt. That is what it is - as soon as possible we'll adjust and work on what we want to do and do it.

"Tonight we played one of the best teams in Europe - they are so, so strong. They are one of the best teams and that's why I'm so happy with what we did. there are things to improve but we need time. I said at  the start the beginning will be tough, to create something new. We have the UCL qualifier which is the most important game for our season and I know we're not going to be at the level we will be at in February, March, April but we are going to adapt."

Guardiola also confirmed that Samir Nasri is working towards full fitness.

"Last season he missed almost the whole year and we don't want that to happen again - he has to be fit. I want the fans to know that they can be so, so proud of these players - every one of them. Every training session they try, to learn and they fight."

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