Belfast Telegraph

Pep Guardiola has pop at Gary Neville in spat over Foden at 'wrong club'

By Robert Jones

Pep Guardiola has hit back at Gary Neville after the Sky Sports pundit claimed Manchester City youngster Phil Foden is at "the wrong Manchester club" for his development.

Foden is currently on tour with Guardiola's squad in the United States and impressed when he was handed a start in last week's 2-0 defeat to Manchester United in Houston.

Despite Foden catching the eye, Neville claimed the 17-year-old would not receive a "sustained opportunity" at City as young players are not promoted through the club's ranks.

"He's at the wrong Manchester club for getting a sustained opportunity. City have a lot of great kids. They should be playing..." the former United full-back tweeted.

On Tuesday, Guardiola defended his reputation as a coach who brings through young talent and asked Neville: "Which is the right club? It's a question to Gary Neville.

"My history is there. I'm not going to put young players in the squad because they are young. They will be in the squad because they have quality. I don't have problems with that.

"The club is working well in terms of the academy. There are many players with good prospects for the future. We will be patient with those guys. They are going to train with us most, or part of, the season.

"Phil Foden is going to play in the next games. He has quality to play in that team.

"I'm so happy to have him. He's a Mancunian, a City fan, a humble guy. He's a fighter. He looks skinny but he's a strong guy."

"I thought even the journalist in the summertime were on holidays but I realise he (Neville) is not," Guardiola added.

City beat Real Madrid 4-1 in the ICC Tournament in front of a record crowd at the Los Angeles Coliseum.

After a goalless first half, Nicolas Otamendi, Raheem Sterling, John Stones and Brahim Diaz scored the goals to put Pep Guardiola's team in charge against the Champions League winners.

Real scored a consolation goal through former Chelsea player Oscar in the last minute of a match watched by a crowd of 93,098, a record attendance for football at the venue.

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