Belfast Telegraph

Guardiola is keen for City to take lessons on board

Point made: Pep Guardiola instructs his midfielder Rodrigo during the clash against Wolves
Point made: Pep Guardiola instructs his midfielder Rodrigo during the clash against Wolves

By Andy Hampson

Pep Guardiola expects Manchester City to learn from their failure to break down a stubborn Wolves in their pre-season clash in China.

The treble winners were beaten on penalties in the Premier League Asia Trophy final after a goalless 90 minutes in Shanghai on Saturday.

The City boss is not concerned about the result but does think the game highlighted areas to work on.

Asked if the defeat meant anything, Guardiola said: "I don't think so. If we are going to lose in the future it will not be because we lost on penalties in this competition.

"We played incredibly well in the first half. Wolves defended so well and deep and it's not easy to create chances, but we created and we didn't concede one counter-attack in that first half and the first 15 minutes of the second.

"Everybody, not just the young players, had a good performance. We will learn from that. We realise how difficult everything is and we are satisfied, especially with the way we played."

City begin their 2019-20 campaign against Champions League winners Liverpool in the Community Shield at Wembley on August 4.

They have two more friendlies to prepare for that as their pre-season tour of Asia continues next week with games against Kitchee FC in Hong Kong on Wednesday and at Yokohama F Marinos on Saturday.

It has been a difficult trip for City so far after their initial flight to China was delayed by two days.

Defender Aymeric Laporte believes the tour will prove a good exercise despite Saturday's defeat.

He said: "We came here to prepare for the season. We have to keep working to be ready, that's the most important thing.

"We made a good job but the result wasn't good. Obviously it would have been better to win but we keep working.

"Hopefully we come back better than when we left. That is what we are here for."

Meanwhile, Brendan Rodgers has revealed Leicester City have received no further bids for defender Harry Maguire, amid interest from Manchester United and City.

It is understood both clubs hold an interest in Maguire, with United seeing a £70m offer knocked back, though Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side are said to have made his signing a priority. City are looking to replace departed captain Vincent Kompany.

Rodgers has spoken in the past about Maguire and how there would "come a point" when the Foxes may have to cash in.

But asked after Leicester's 2-1 pre-season win over Cheltenham whether he'd received any more bids for Maguire, Rodgers said: "Not that I'm aware of. Certainly not in the 90 minutes.

"There's still time to go. You never know what happens with all the players but at this moment in time, this is a top-class player who will cost another club a lot of money.

"Thankfully we're in a position where we don't have to sell. We don't want to sell him.

"He's a really special player. He fits how we work fantastically well.

"But if anyone does come in for him you have to pay that premium for a top-level player. He's just getting his fitness in and we're quite relaxed on it."

Rodgers was also asked if the transfer speculation was affecting Maguire's concentration. The England international played 45 minutes at Cheltenham and the former Celtic and Liverpool boss said he has noticed no difference in him.

"As you can see, he's absolutely fine," added Rodgers. "There's no discussion, there's no change.

"He's just Harry Maguire, he's training hard. He's mixing it up with the players, there's no change by him. He's a really good guy who's a top player. He'll continue his fitness and his commitment whilst he's a signed player."

Another Leicester player linked with a move to City is Ben Chilwell, although Guardiola's need to sign a left-sided full-back has been decreased since moving to bring Angelino back from PSV Eindhoven and it is understood the club will not make a move for Chilwell this summer.

Benjamin Mendy is set to miss the start of the season through injury but bookies believe a move for Chilwell can't be ruled out, although the 22-year-old would come with a hefty price tag.

Belfast Telegraph


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