Pep Guardiola has appeared happy and content with his midfield options in public, playing down the Manchester City’s failed summer-long pursuit of Jorginho, who was snatched from their hands by Chelsea.
In a press conference earlier this month, Pep said: “We have Fernandinho and Ilkay Gündogan who can play in this position [holding midfield], and Aleks (Zinchenko) can also play there.
“There is also Fabian Delph, and we have one or two young guys – Douglas Luiz and Claudio Gomes.”
Guardiola’s true feelings are different according to a report in today’s edition of The Sunday Times, which claims that he is ‘unimpressed’ with the club for failing to sign the high-quality midfielder he had stated was a priority.
That target, specifically, was Jorginho, and City have yet to move for an alternative with the word from the club being that they may settle for what they have. Guardiola dropped his pursuit of Brazilian midfielder Fred, who has since joined Manchester United, because he was so keen on Jorginho.
Leading into last night’s win over Bayern Munich in Florida, Pep did hint that one more signing could arrive before the transfer window shuts.
“If we sign a player, we will sign only one more… maybe one comes, maybe not,” the Catalan boss said.
It remains to be seen if Txiki Begiristain can or will provide Guardiola with another high-level midfielder before the season starts, with the club and Pep himself dismissing constant links from Italy to Juventus star Miralem Pjanic.
The Sunday Times reports that Pep is ‘conscious of the psychological challenge involved in retaining a Premier League title’ and knows a lack of big-name recruits, with Riyad Mahrez the only major incoming so far, could leave a chink in their armour.
Will City buy again before the transfer window closes? Do they need to in order to compete for both the Premier League and Champions League?
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