quote linkedin dugout

Media Watch

Video 1 Gallery

Aguero receives Pep talk from Messi

pep guardiola

pep guardiola

Sergio Aguero has apparently received a few pointers on what to expect from incoming City boss Pep Guardiola from Argentina team mate Lionel Messi.

“Guardiola will be at the helm in 2016-17 after replacing Manuel Pellegrini and he inherits a City team desperate to make an impact in Europe.” report FourFourTwo .

“City made it to the semi-finals of the Champions League for the first time in their history this season - eventually ousted by Real Madrid - having never advanced beyond the last 16 in the four previous campaigns.

“Aguero acknowledged City were not good enough in the Champions League, but the Argentina international believes that could change under the guidance of Guardiola.

“"There is a reason that the club invests in important players and then a coach is very important," Aguero said.

“"We hope that Pep adapts to the club and decides how we are going to play. But it is fundamental that next year we advance a bit more.

“"Leo [Messi] has told me he is very impressive and other players with whom I have spoken have said the same. I don't know him personally so we'll see after Copa America [with Argentina] what is going to happen. I will get to know him and he will push us all.

“"I think he is a coach who will put a lot of pressure on the players and we need that, so yes. I think the arrival of him not just for me but for other players will be important for club."

“Aguero, whose team-mates scraped through to qualify for next season's Champions League in fourth place in the Premier League ahead of Manchester United on goal difference, added: "We knew we had a great team but not good enough to earn [a win in the] semi-finals. We played OK in the Champions League with exceptions like Kevin [De Bruyne] who scored that [winning] goal against [Paris Saint-Germain].

“"But we didn't earn the classification and we knew it was an important step to make it to the semi-finals to get an idea of what we will experience next year.

“"City is a great team but not up to the level of winning the Champions League.””

It’s not only Pep who is bound for Manchester this summer to prepare for kick-off in 2016/17; the Spaniard’s team of backroom staff will also be getting ready for life at the City Football Academy and the Daily Mail believe Arsenal’s Mikel Arteta could be amongst the incoming coaches.

“The 34-year-old midfielder admitted following the Gunners' 4-0 defeat of relegated Aston Villa on Sunday in their season finale that he had received three offers for his services” the report believes.

“As revealed by Sportsmail earlier this month, one of those offers is to join fellow Spaniard Pep Guardiola at the Etihad Stadium.

“And it appears that the chance to join the revolution at the blue half of Manchester has trumped other interest.” 

“Tottenham and Arsenal were believed to be the other options available. 

“When asked if he is definitely retiring, Arteta said at the weekend: 'I am going to leave (it open) by one per cent because in football one per cent is a lot and things can twist very quickly.

“'But I have different options now to be related to football which I am very grateful for. It is very unusual to have opportunities at this level.

“'As well, that made me think it was probably time (to retire) and the way I have been watching football in the last few months - or probably over a year - it was not as a player, it was more as a coach. Then you have to think about it.

“'You have to be honest with yourself. That's why I haven't been upset with the manager (by not playing), I have been upset with myself.

“'When you can't get it right and you have been through injuries and difficult moments at this level... for me to play at this club you have to be the best in your position.

“'When you lose that, I think you should be away from this place. I have probably been here too long. In the last few months, I probably didn't deserve to be here but at least I got the chance against Aston Villa to stay in touch with them and it has been amazing.

“'For me, the standards you need to play for this club, it cannot be eight out of 10, it has to be 10 out of 10. When you cannot deliver that, it is not good enough.

“'Sometimes people get away with it. Inside myself, my gut wasn't clean and when you are like this, I prefer to make the decision myself.’”

Is Schalke’s Leroy Sane set to be one of the first signings of Pep Guardiola’s City reign? The Daily Star reckon City are ready to pip neighbours United for the striker’s services.

“United have been tracking the £30m-rated winger for several months and are keen to lure him to Old Trafford this summer.

“But Guardiola is not prepared to let that happen after targeting Sane as one of the most exciting young talents in Europe.

“Now he wants to gazump United in a bid to make him his first signing when he succeeds Manuel Pellegrini at the Etihad.

“Sane, 20, scored his ninth goal of the season in Schalke’s 4-1 win at Hoffenheim last weekend in their final Bundesliga game this term.

The German outfit are holding out for around £40m for Sane, who has also attracted interest from Barcelona and AC Milan.

“But his market value is closer to £30m as some of Europe’s leading clubs get set for a tug-of-war for his services.

“Etihad bosses have been working on Guardiola’s transfer targets since the turn of 2016 when it became clear he was coming in.

“He will make major changes to the current squad this summer, with the likes of Thiago Alcantara, Paul Pogba and John Stones all on his wanted list.”

First Team News

City stars set for a busy summer

City could have eight players representing their country at Euro 2016 which starts next month in France.

Though the provisional squads don’t guarantee a place, every player selected for their country’s final preparation matches has an excellent opportunity to make the final cut

First Team News

De Bruyne bags fourth Etihad award of the season

First Team News

Possible Champions League play-off round opponents

Sergio Aguero

The 1-1 draw at Swansea has all-but mathematically assured City of the fourth Champions League spot, but taking the final berth means the Blues will have to play a qualifying round to reach the group stage of the competition.

Champions League play-off round: Need to know