Belfast Telegraph

Pep Guardiola confirms Danilo interest as Man City eye up to four more signings

Pep Guardiola still wants to make as many as four more summer signings, with the Manchester City manager confirming interest in Real Madrid right-back Danilo.

An outstanding start to life in the Premier League last season soon tapered off as the Spaniard's first campaign at the Etihad Stadium ended trophyless.

Guardiola has overseen major surgery ahead of the 2017-18 season, with a number of players heading for the City exit in a summer that has seen Bernardo Silva, Ederson Moraes and Kyle Walker arrive.

City are not done there, though.

Guardiola refused to rule out moves for Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez or Monaco full-back Benjamin Mendy, but confirmed an interest in Brazil international Danilo.

"We have many options for people, players coming, but until the deal is done out of respect for the other clubs I cannot say absolutely anything," the City boss said.

"But (Danilo) is one option we have.

"I said he's a player from Real Madrid, so we are talking with not too much players but three or four players to try, if possible, to join us for not only the next season but the next three, four, five years because all of them are so, so young players.

"We need that, refresh with the spirit of the new players. It is good for them, for the old players like Vincent (Kompany) and the other ones here in the club.

"It is going to help us to rebuild a little bit more the club and we'll see."

Full-back reinforcements are key for City this summer and at the other end of the field links to Arsenal forward Sanchez rumble on.

Guardiola was coy on a move for a player Arsene Wenger insists is staying put, but the City boss was more forthcoming when it came to his belief that the transfer window needs restructuring.

"Alexis is a player from Arsenal," Guardiola said. "Arsene said that, it's because he knows more than me.

"Unfortunately the market finishes the 31st (of August), I think that's a huge mistake from UEFA.

"I think the market should finish when we start the season, it's too long, too large.

"We are playing here with guys who maybe will not continue, or with players who are coming but are not here.

"We are playing in a situation where we don't know exactly what is going to happen for the rest of the season, so we miss time. For all the managers.

"Hopefully in the future UEFA can think about that and the deadline will be the day we start the competition.

"And for the players I've said the players are of other teams so I cannot say too much. I don't like when the other team's managers talk about our players so for us it's the same."

Guardiola, speaking ahead of the International Champions Cup clash with Manchester United, ruled out a move for Napoli goalkeeper Pepe Reina and insisted Claudio Bravo will remain despite an error-prone first season.

Star turn Sergio Aguero is another staying at the Etihad Stadium, with Premier League champions Chelsea reported to be keen to bring in the Argentina striker.

"You know my opinion on Sergio," Guardiola said in Houston.

"I said many times last season and I don't change absolutely any words about what I said.

"He's our player, he will remain here."

One striker that is heading for the exit door is Kelechi Iheanacho, staying in the UK as a move to Leicester edges ever closer.

Wilfried Bony, who spent last season at Stoke, also looks to be on his way out, but Guardiola insists the only reason he is absent from City's American tour is due to injury.

"It was/is an honour to work with him because it was not easy for him because I did not give him a little opportunities," the City boss said of Iheanacho. "His behaviour, I've never saw a guy like him (before).

"He is close to making a deal, a transfer and he decided to stay in Manchester. Maybe next week or the next 10 days he is going to finish.

"We have an option to have the opportunity in a few years to bring him back.

"But he's a young player and we believe he deserves to play. He needs to play at that age and that's why him, the club and everybody, we decide what's best for him.

"Bony is injured. If he wasn't injured, he would be here but he had a little problem. It's nothing important and serious, but he is recovering in Manchester."

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