Pep Guardiola doesn’t think Manchester City need to increase defense depth in the remaining days of the transfer window, although injuries limit their options at the back.
Nathan Ake is expected to miss Saturday’s Premier League game against Crystal Palace after suffering a groin injury against Newcastle last weekend, and will join Aymeric Laporte – who will not return after knee surgery for several weeks – on the touchline.
Ruben Dias and John Stones are in the starting XI but with teenager Luke Mbete also likely to miss the friendly against Barcelona after suffering a concussion, Guardiola has few reinforcements on the bench.
Despite this, the City boss said he is not looking for reinforcements this week as City’s transfer deal is seen as done after Guardiola ruled out a departure for Bernardo Silva.
“Right now we have a problem with centre-backs without Nathan and Aymi – we only have two and hopefully Aymi will come back soon,” he said. “When you have many in the same position, it’s difficult. We try to avoid it, but sometimes it happens.
“We’ve been thinking about (commitments) but Nathan will be back soon, late September or early October Aymi will be back too. I’m happy with that. Maybe we wake up in the morning and think we should buy a centre-back, but we don’t think about that.”
Guardiola insisted he was unaware of reports linking Mbete with a loan move but conceded it was a way of giving the 18-year-old more first-team experience.
“(Mbete) got a concussion in Barcelona and we’re looking forward to seeing him but maybe the club will do it (loan him), I don’t know,” he said.
“Maybe he needs to play regularly to be ready to play for us, be loaned out like Macca (James McAtee) or Liam Delap – it’s important for them to play regularly.”
However, he insisted Cole Palmer – also linked to a loan move in some areas – was not going anywhere.
“Cole, it’s not going to happen because we’re counting on him, but the rest, it’s better for the club and for the players themselves to see if they can play with us. The gap from academy to first team is so big in terms of competition every weekend…
“(Palmer’s) position is one step ahead of the rest. All the other guys can play for us but we go loan and here and Cole has a special quality.
“He was injured but feels good now, played really well at Barcelona and can easily play two or three different positions.”
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/pep-guardiola-nathan-ake-manchester-city-newcastle-crystal-palace-b2153827.html Pep Guardiola doesn’t want to increase Manchester City’s defensive depth