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Pep’s Presser: Guardiola comments on Alexis Sanchez, Messi and Mbappé, updates on Mendy and Gundogan fitness

Pep Guardiola has confirmed that Benjamin Mendy will travel with the Manchester City squad to Bournemouth for tomorrow’s game, with the French internationally finally set to return from a lengthy thigh injury.

However, the boss wants to handle Mendy’s return from injury carefully and in his pre-match presser at the CFA this afternoon wasn’t sure if the 23-year-old will feature tomorrow.

“Mendy is travelling with us. I don’t know if he will play,” he said. “Kyle cannot play. Gundogan will play with the second team.”

In the absence of Kyle Walker through suspension, Pep said he expects Danilo to start in his natural right-back role for the first time at City.

On tomorrow’s opposition, Pep was, as ever, complimentary, saying, “Bournemouth are a team who want to play. The manager is so good in those terms. They started with two defeats but sometimes that can happen.”

And he was even more complimentary about Napoli, who were drawn in City’s Champions League group yesterday.

“In the Champions League, you expect the first and second pot to be strong but I think Napoli are one of the three best teams in Europe right now.”

And what about the Messi and Mbappé links? Txiki Begiristain ruled out either deal happening yesterday, and Pep seemed to have similar views.

“My dream for one (Messi) is to stay at Barcelona for his career, the other (Mbappé) is a young talent who will decide (his future).”

Closer to home, City continue to be linked with moves for Jonny Evans and Alexis Sanchez, but again the Catalan refused to give anything away.

“(Alexis Sanchez) is an Arsenal player, like Mbappé is Monaco and Jonny Evans is West Brom. You have to ask Alexis.”

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