Belfast Telegraph

Satisfied Pep will only fork out for a 'special' player

 

By Simon Peach

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola will only dip into the transfer market before the window shuts for a "special" talent.

After splashing the cash last summer to turn the side into Premier League champions, City have been relatively restrained this term.

Riyad Mahrez arrived from Leicester in a club-record £60m deal, but PEC Zwolle's Philippe Sandler has been the only other addition after Brazilian international Jorginho plumped for Chelsea.

"We will see," Guardiola said of City's transfer business.

"If at the end we decide to bring another one, it is because he's a special player, can be a special player for the future, not to have one more player for the number.

"So, I'm so satisfied - all my period here, even the first year - with the squad we have.

"Now from Monday we'll be all together. We are going to start to think what we have do to this season to maintain the level of last season."

Several players are likely to move on before the window closes, with goalkeeper Joe Hart looking to make a permanent exit after difficult loans at Torino and West Ham.

"We'll see what happens in the next days," Guardiola said. "We know the situation.

"I admire his commitment, his professionalism in every single training (session).

"We try to help him understand what we want to do and that's all. We are going to see."

Asked if he would let Hart leave on a free transfer, Guardiola said: "I'm not a sporting director, so I don't know the deals."

Guardiola, meanwhile, is delighted by Gabriel Jesus' contract extension at City and believes Douglas Luiz can become the next Brazilian to flourish should he get a work permit.

After running away with the Premier League title last season, City have the chance to start the campaign with silverware when they face Chelsea in the Community Shield tomorrow.

"Gabriel has improved a lot since he came," the City boss said.

"His courage, his fight to put every effort for the team is incredible.

"I never met one striker who fights like he fights for the team and he's able to improve, he always wants to know what he can do better and that is fantastic."

Meanwhile, Chelsea winger Pedro has signed a one-year contract extension.

The 31-year-old, who moved to Stamford Bridge from Barcelona in the summer of 2015, is now under contract until the summer of 2020.

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