After a rare week to recover and prepare, Manchester City welcome Newcastle United to the Etihad Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Ahead of the tactical clash between Pep Guardiola and Rafa Benitez, the City boss spoke to the press at the CFA on Friday.
Veteran pair Nicolas Otamendi and Fernandinho have extended their City contracts in recent days and Pep is pleased at those developments.
“We are so happy that Nico and Fernandinho can stay with us longer,” the boss said.
“Fernandinho is one of the players I have such a pleasure to have under my command. It is great news for the club to have both Nico and Fernandinho with us at the club for the future.”
It didn’t take long before the name of Alexis Sanchez came up and Pep seemed very unconcerned that he has chosen a £500,000-a-week pay packet over a reunion he held out for.
“I am not the guy with the numbers, what I know right now is that Alexis is an Arsenal player and I think he’ll go to United so congratulations to both of them and good luck.
“The players and their managers decide what is the best for them. My opinion of Alexis remains the same. It was a pleasure to be with him in Barcelona. I wish him the best.”
Pep also confirmed that there is no development on signing a centre-back, despite odds crashing on Jonny Evans moving to the Etihad recently. Asked if there was any progress on a centre-back, Pep shook his head:
The topic of injuries followed, with Pep confirming that Fabian Delph is going to be missing for a while, giving City precious few options for full-back. The news on Vincent Kompany was better, however, and he could return very soon, if not tomorrow.
“Delph is out for a while. I don’t know how long but for a while.
“Kompany is much better, we don’t know right now but hopefully in the next game he will be ready.”
To celebrate Nicolas Otamendi’s new deal, the City Store has released these new tees!