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Guardiola provides Mendy update

PRESS CONFERENCE: Pep Guardiola addresses the media ahead of the game...

PRESS CONFERENCE: Pep Guardiola addresses the media ahead of the game...

Pep Guardiola admitted Benjamin Mendy is yet to return to full fitness, as the Frenchman continues his recovery from knee surgery.

The left-back was recalled to the matchday squad for Wednesday night’s victory over West Ham, having played just 28 minutes since undergoing surgery in November, but remained an unused substitute.

Guardiola revealed Mendy was not fit to face the Hammers, explaining that he may only be utilised for ‘a few’ of City’s remaining games of 2018/19.

READ: Guardiola handed double injury boost

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“Today, Mendy is not fit,” he stated. “It’s not about the standard of English football – he just isn’t able to play.

“He has been injured in two seasons. It can happen in three but hopefully, not. He’s working with that and the truth is that we could use him for a few games.

“I didn’t have many players (against West Ham) – we had a lot of injuries. In the last moment, Fabian Delph woke up with a problem in his leg so Philippe Sandler and Mendy were there. I brought him onto the bench but we was still not perfect to play.

“The strongest guys every day are there but that’s the truth – that’s why we are looking for next season.”

Guardiola also elaborated on Gabriel Jesus’ return to action, with the Brazilian back in contention to face Bournemouth – along with John Stones – on Saturday.

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Pep singles out captain Kompany for special praise

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“Gabriel is a young player and incredibly strong,” he continued. “It was difficult. Every player needs two matches to be fit – Vincent Kompany’s situation is strange but Jesus is involved and plays at a high level.

“If there was a risk, he wouldn’t go to Bournemouth. He trained on Thursday and was good – perfect.”

On Kompany, Guardiola dismissed the suggestion injury problems will hamper discussions regarding a new contract for the Belgian.

“I don’t think so,” he replied. “When he was injured for six months over the last three or four years, it happened the same and it is not the reason why Vincent Kompany may or may not stay for another year or two."

The subject of contract talks also sparked the topic of a new deal for Ilkay Gundogan, which Guardiola asserted he hopes to complete.

“In the first season, he had a tough injury – six or seven months out – but he is an incredibly important player,” he said.

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“He knows what we want and he knows what we think about him. We spoke in the past but the last decision is not in our hands.

“We tried to speak to him and we want him to sign a new contract but if he doesn’t want to, we can’t do anything else.

“If he was 100%, than it would have been done. We are still in negotiations and it is not there so I don’t know.”

Asked once more of his plans for the summer transfer window, Guardiola responded: “We are going to try for a holding midfielder.

“There are other positions we are thinking about but I’m not going to tell you which positions and which players!”

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