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Category: Pep Guardiola

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If Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City are to succeed, Ederson needs to hit ground running

City suffered for the wrong choice of goalkeeper last season and Guardiola’s hopes will be compromised if Claudio Bravo’s inexperienced replacement does not prove worth the £34.9m outlay

The success of Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City tenure could hinge on a 23-year-old goalkeeper who is untested in English football and has only one full season behind him at a major Portuguese club.

Ederson Santana de Moraes was bought for £34.9m from Benfica this summer. The size of a fee close to the world record for his position indicates two things: how good the Brazilian is believed to be and how keenly Guardiola wishes to remedy his problem at No1.

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Mourinho and Guardiola content after Manchester United’s win over City – video

Manchester United manager José Mourinho says he is satisfied with his side’s 2-0 win in the pre-season meeting with Manchester City on Thursday night in Houston. Goals from Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford sealed the victory for United in the first Manchester derby to be played on foreign soil. City manager Guardiola is also pleased with his team’s showing despite the loss

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Manchester City make £2.5m bid for Napoli’s Pepe Reina

• Spanish goalkeeper seen as experienced deputy to Ederson
• Reina’s arrival would end Claudio Bravo’s torrid time at City

Manchester City want to buy Napoli’s Pepe Reina in a transfer which, if successful, would mean the end of Claudio Bravo’s torrid time at the club.

City are understood to have made an initial bid of around £2.5m for the 34-year-old, who spent nine years at Liverpool, and has also played for Barcelona, Villlarreal, and Bayern Munich. He would offer Pep Guardiola, the City manager, vast experience.

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Pep Guardiola under pressure while he oversees Manchester City spending spree | Jamie Jackson

The manager faces a defining season at City after an underwhelming opening campaign and his summer rebuild could cost the club around £250m

“I have high confidence we are going in the right direction. I am very excited about how we are developing as a team, how Pep has taken the squad and really started a process of going through that natural cycle of development.”

Khaldoon al-Mubarak, Manchester City chairman, May 2017

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Joan Laporta: ‘Barcelona has been kidnapped. It’s hostage to lies and it’s sad’

The former Barcelona president on why the club’s board should resign, why he is certain Pep Guardiola will succeed at Manchester City and the day he feared he might be forced to sell Lionel Messi

There is a story Joan Laporta tells of the day he called Pep Guardiola to his office and told him he was going to be the new manager of Barcelona, to which Guardiola replied: “You haven’t got the balls.” If there is one thing Barça’s former president never lacked it is balls and yet he does not see it like that, even though José Mourinho wanted the job. Nine years on, it looks the obvious decision; back then, he claims it was obvious too – and he insists Guardiola is also right for Manchester City. “It wasn’t bravery, it was logic,” he says. “And if City back him as he deserves he’ll succeed. He’s an optimist, a winner and he’s brave: he won’t hide.”

Laporta sits in his sixth-floor office on Diagonal, the wide, 11km-long avenue that cuts through Barcelona, the day after an event with the Johan Cruyff foundation. “I miss him so much,” he says, “but it’s strange: we all said it’s as if he hasn’t gone.” When Laporta was growing up, he cut his hair like Cruyff, his idol as a player and later a coach. Eventually, they became close. In the presidency and beyond, the Dutchman became his adviser. Cruyff was an ideologue, almost a spiritual guide. Not only to Laporta but to many, especially those at the gathering, Guardiola and City’s director of football, Txiki Begiristain, among them.

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Joan Laporta: ‘Barcelona has been kidnapped. It’s hostage to lies and it’s sad’

The former Barcelona president on why the club’s board should resign, why he is certain Pep Guardiola will succeed at Manchester City and the day he feared he might be forced to sell Lionel Messi

There is a story Joan Laporta tells of the day he called Pep Guardiola to his office and told him he was going to be the new manager of Barcelona, to which Guardiola replied: “You haven’t got the balls.” If there is one thing Barça’s former president never lacked it is balls and yet he does not see it like that, even though José Mourinho wanted the job. Nine years on, it looks the obvious decision; back then, he claims it was obvious too – and he insists Guardiola is also right for Manchester City. “It wasn’t bravery, it was logic,” he says. “And if City back him as he deserves he’ll succeed. He’s an optimist, a winner and he’s brave: he won’t hide.”

Laporta sits in his sixth-floor office on Diagonal, the wide, 11km-long avenue that cuts through Barcelona, the day after an event with the Johan Cruyff foundation. “I miss him so much,” he says, “but it’s strange: we all said it’s as if he hasn’t gone.” When Laporta was growing up, he cut his hair like Cruyff, his idol as a player and later a coach. Eventually, they became close. In the presidency and beyond, the Dutchman became his adviser. Cruyff was an ideologue, almost a spiritual guide. Not only to Laporta but to many, especially those at the gathering, Guardiola and City’s director of football, Txiki Begiristain, among them.

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Manchester City to promote trio of youngsters to Pep Guardiola’s first team

• Jadon Sancho, Phil Foden and Brahim Díaz to join up with first team
• ‘These are players that are extremely talented,’ says chairman Mubarak

The Manchester City chairman, Khaldoon al-Mubarak, has said Pep Guardiola will promote Jadon Sancho, Phil Foden and Brahim Díaz to the first team, after the manager previously questioned whether youth players face enough competition to develop in England.

The forwards Díaz and Sancho, who are each 17, and the 18-year-old midfielder Foden were key members of the team that reached the FA Youth Cup final last season. Foden was also an unused substitute for City’s Champions League group game at home to Celtic in December.

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Sergio Agüero set to stay at Manchester City, declares chairman

• Khaldoon al-Mubarak says speculation about striker’s future is ‘ridiculous’
• Club ready to announce the signing of Benfica goalkeeper Ederson

Sergio Agüero is set to stay at Manchester City with the club chairman, Khaldoon al-Mubarak, describing as “ridiculous” the view he could leave despite the striker being dropped by Pep Guardiola on occasions last season. The chairman did admit City’s trophy-less campaign was a disappointment.

Agüero was axed at the start of February in favour of Brazilian Gabriel Jesus, but the latter suffered a broken foot that allowed Agüero to re-establish himself.

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A Premier League season of soap opera where football felt like background music | Barney Ronay

The 2016-17 season still had its drama – moments of brilliance and booming narrative arcs to be resolved – but it was less title race than well-ordered title jog

Farewell, then, to the year that almost was. This was a Premier League season that sparked with a controlled excitement, never quite caught fire but still dished up another digestible slice of high-end product.

Things kept on almost happening. Leicester City almost completed the most dramatic title-plus-relegation act of all time. But then it was all sort of OK. Marco Silva almost pulled off a minor managerial miracle – but somehow not quite. To great fanfare Tottenham Hotspur pulled to within one victory of being quite close to creeping up on Chelsea’s shoulder at the top – almost but not quite, leaving for the third season in a row not so much a title race as a well-ordered title jog.

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A Premier League season of soap opera where football felt like background music | Barney Ronay

The 2016-17 season still had its drama – moments of brilliance and booming narrative arcs to be resolved – but it was less title race than well-ordered title jog

Farewell, then, to the year that almost was. This was a Premier League season that sparked with a controlled excitement, never quite caught fire but still dished up another digestible slice of high-end product.

Things kept on almost happening. Leicester City almost completed the most dramatic title-plus-relegation act of all time. But then it was all sort of OK. Marco Silva almost pulled off a minor managerial miracle – but somehow not quite. To great fanfare Tottenham Hotspur pulled to within one victory of being quite close to creeping up on Chelsea’s shoulder at the top – almost but not quite, leaving for the third season in a row not so much a title race as a well-ordered title jog.

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Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City: what missing Champions League would mean

We examine why the three clubs’ Premier League fate has gone to the wire and what the impact on each would be if they finish outside the top four

P 37 Pts 72 GD +31

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Pep Guardiola has no need to worry – City are nothing like Bayern or Barcelona

When Manchester City’s manager claimed he would have been sacked by Barcelona or Bayern by now, it was hard to know whether he was bragging, complaining or merely being disingenuous

“It’s not done, but we are nearly there,” Pep Guardiola said after Manchester City’s last home win of the season. “It’s in our hands to finish third. We are going to play Watford and win the game. [Even if we lose] Arsenal will have to score five or six against Everton to get past us.”

Most of the season’s issues have been settled as the final weekend approaches, there will be no last day relegation escapes and the top and runners-up spots have been known for a while. There is mild interest at Stamford Bridge over whether Chelsea can manage a 30th victory of the season to break the Premier League record of 29 set in each of José Mourinho’s first two seasons at the club, and the race for third and fourth place has resolved itself into a question of whether City and Liverpool can hold their nerve and pick up the necessary points against lower half of the table opponents in Watford and Middlesbrough respectively.

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Pep Guardiola has no need to worry – City are nothing like Bayern or Barcelona

When Manchester City’s manager claimed he would have been sacked by Barcelona or Bayern by now, it was hard to know whether he was bragging, complaining or merely being disingenuous

“It’s not done, but we are nearly there,” Pep Guardiola said after Manchester City’s last home win of the season. “It’s in our hands to finish third. We are going to play Watford and win the game. [Even if we lose] Arsenal will have to score five or six against Everton to get past us.”

Most of the season’s issues have been settled as the final weekend approaches, there will be no last day relegation escapes and the top and runners-up spots have been known for a while. There is mild interest at Stamford Bridge over whether Chelsea can manage a 30th victory of the season to break the Premier League record of 29 set in each of José Mourinho’s first two seasons at the club, and the race for third and fourth place has resolved itself into a question of whether City and Liverpool can hold their nerve and pick up the necessary points against lower half of the table opponents in Watford and Middlesbrough respectively.

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Pep Guardiola: Barcelona and Bayern Munich would have sacked me – video

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola admits he probably would have been sacked by Barcelona or Bayern Munich, his two previous clubs, had he failed to win a trophy. ‘In my situation in a big club, I’m sacked. I am out. Sure, definitely,’ he says before City’s Tuesday game against West Bromwich Albion. Guardiola’s side failed to mount a title challenge in his first season at the Etihad and will end the year without any silverware

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Barcelona and Bayern Munich would have sacked me, says Pep Guardiola

• Manchester City manager says he would have lost his job by now at old clubs
• Guardiola rejects idea that some Premier League teams are on ‘holiday’

Pep Guardiola has admitted Barcelona and Bayern Munich would have sacked him if he had achieved similar results to those of his disappointing first season at Manchester City.

Guardiola won the Spanish and German titles in his first seasons at both Barça and Bayern but can finish no higher than third with City. He will end the campaign without a trophy after City were eliminated from the Champions League last 16, two stages earlier than last season when Manuel Pellegrini was in charge. Guardiola’s team host West Bromwich Albion on Tuesday night knowing wins against Tony Pulis’s side and at Watford on the final day will enable City to finish third.

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Barcelona and Bayern Munich would have sacked me, says Pep Guardiola

• Manchester City manager says he would have lost his job by now at old clubs
• Guardiola rejects idea that some Premier League teams are on ‘holiday’

Pep Guardiola has admitted Barcelona and Bayern Munich would have sacked him if he had achieved similar results to those of his disappointing first season at Manchester City.

Guardiola won the Spanish and German titles in his first seasons at both Barça and Bayern but can finish no higher than third with City. He will end the campaign without a trophy after City were eliminated from the Champions League last 16, two stages earlier than last season when Manuel Pellegrini was in charge. Guardiola’s team host West Bromwich Albion on Tuesday night knowing wins against Tony Pulis’s side and at Watford on the final day will enable City to finish third.

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Manchester City to offer Yaya Touré new deal to extend stay at Etihad

• 34-year-old Ivorian would feature in eighth season at City if he accepts deal
• Outgoing defender Zabaleta to be honoured following West Bromwich match

Yaya Touré is likely to be offered a new contract by Manchester City, though the club is unsure if he will accept. The midfielder, who turned 34 on Saturday, is currently employed on terms that expire in the close season. Yet after fighting his way back into Pep Guardiola’s first-team plans it is understood the manager and Txiki Begiristain, City’s sporting director, think Touré should be given the chance to extend his stay.

If the Ivorian accepts he will play into an eighth year at City, having joined from Barcelona for £24m in 2010. Earlier in the season Guardiola excluded Touré due to comments made by his agent, Dimitri Seluk, about the Catalan manager. However, he was reinstated after Touré apologised in November; since then he has made 28 appearances and scored six times.

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Pep Guardiola: “The referee was so brave to interpret a good rule.” – video

Pep Guardiola and Craig Shakespeare speak after Manchester CIty’s 2-1 home win against Leicester. Guardiola says that he realised Riyad Mahrez had touched his penalty twice because of his goalkeeper Willy Caballero’s reaction. He also asserts that the rule is the same in golf, and that referee Robert Madley was “brave” to make the call.

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Manchester City seeking back-up despite Vincent Kompany’s sparkling return

• Kompany stars in defeat of Crystal Palace but City need to ‘cover our backs’
• Pep Guardiola insists: ‘We have to have back-up if something happens’

Pep Guardiola has admitted Manchester City cannot rely on Vincent Kompany’s fitness and will have to buy at least one central defender in the summer to “cover our backs”.

Kompany again performed impressively in the 5-0 thrashing of Crystal Palace at the Etihad on Saturday. It was a sixth game in a row without breaking down for the City captain, who has been plagued with injuries over the past few seasons.

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Manchester City seeking back-up despite Vincent Kompany’s sparkling return

• Kompany stars in defeat of Crystal Palace but City need to ‘cover our backs’
• Pep Guardiola insists: ‘We have to have back-up if something happens’

Pep Guardiola has admitted Manchester City cannot rely on Vincent Kompany’s fitness and will have to buy at least one central defender in the summer to “cover our backs”.

Kompany again performed impressively in the 5-0 thrashing of Crystal Palace at the Etihad on Saturday. It was a sixth game in a row without breaking down for the City captain, who has been plagued with injuries over the past few seasons.

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