Men’s Team

Team news: Guardiola provides Mendy update

PRESS CONFERENCE: Pep Guardiola addresses the media
Pep Guardiola hopes Benjamin Mendy will be fit to rejoin the squad when City return from our pre-season Asia Tour.

The Frenchman has not featured for the Premier League Champions since the Champions League quarter-final second leg clash with Tottenham, having endured an injury-plagued campaign with a knee problem.

READ: Bernardo targets trophy tonic

WATCH: De Bruyne sets sights on big 2019/20 season

Focused on regaining his fitness, Mendy has not travelled to China for the Premier League Asia Trophy but Guardiola hopes the left-back will be ready to resume training when the team arrive back in Manchester.

Asked how the defender’s recovery is progressing, Guardiola replied: “He is getting better.

“Hopefully, when we get back from the tour, he will join us.”

Guardiola added he has been impressed with City’s youthful contingent during the pre-season tour with several youngsters earning deserved acclaim for their contributions in the opening triumph over West Ham.

“We are delighted to bring young players to play with the first-team,” he continued.

“While we are arriving at the start of the season, Argentina and Brazil are playing competitions from last season so they can’t be here.

WATCH: Training: Squad put through paces in Shanghai

“They need time to rest but we need to play games after a week; with humidity, jet lag and a 22-hour flight.

“The young players give another alternative for us. It’s a friendly but it’s an official game against teams like West Ham and Wolves. That’s why there are here.”

Having bolstered the squad with two summer signings in Rodri and Angelino, Guardiola was also quizzed on whether there will be further additions, particularly in the central defensive role to replace Vincent Kompany.

“We are so happy with the squad we have,” he stated. “I don’t know if the players here will stay or new players will come but every time since I came here, I have been delighted with the players we have.

“Maybe (we will replace Kompany) but we have three incredible central defenders and Fernandinho can play in that position. We will see.

“When we go back to Manchester, we will see what we have and we will decide. Now is not the time to take big decisions about who will be with us.”

WATCH: Proud Doyle reflects on ‘crazy’ debut

With City locking horns with Wolves in Saturday’s Premier League Trophy Final, Guardiola also asserted City are determined to kick-off the 2019/20 season with silverware and in the best shape ahead of the new campaign.

“We are taking it seriously as much as possible,” he asserted. “We are here; against an opponent who did incredibly well last season.

“Part of our preparation is to avoid injuries and try to start reaching our best level as soon as possible.

“We know how they play and how good they are. It’s just a friendly game but we will try to play a good game and make our principles.

“We try to sleep during the night. We want to survive! We have incredible jet lag and we cannot train. We need to keep energy for the matchday.

“What we will do this season, we have started to do against West Ham and we will try to do it here.”

View all club partners
31