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Saturday 24 August 2019

Alves coming to City still an option for Guardiola

City boss Pep Guardiola and Phil Foden
City boss Pep Guardiola and Phil Foden
Dani Alves

Pep Guardiola has not ruled out bringing veteran full-back Dani Alves to Manchester City.

The 36-year-old Brazilian, who won two Champions League titles under Guardiola at Barcelona, is available on a free transfer after his contract at Paris St Germain expired.

City currently have two experienced right-backs in first-choice Kyle Walker and Danilo and have no immediate vacancy, but there has been speculation over the future of the latter.

Were Danilo to move on this summer, City could be tempted to bring in Alves as short-term back-up for Walker.

Alves was close to joining City after leaving Juventus two years ago but opted for PSG. Guardiola said: "All the important clubs in the world know his situation and the incredible player he is. He is an extraordinary person, but we have two incredible full-backs. So, that is what it is."

But Guardiola, speaking in Japan ahead of Saturday's friendly with City's sister club Yokohama F Marinos, is relaxed about whether any more signings are made this summer.

City have already signed midfielder Rodri for a club record £62.8million and Angelino in the current transfer window.

Asked if many more new faces might arrive, he said: "No, not many. I like the faces that we have. Maybe, but the transfer market is so difficult and the team is really good enough. So, maybe zero, maybe one, maybe one-and-a-half. We'll see."

City are looking for central defenders following the departure of Vincent Kompany but, despite being linked with Leicester's Harry Maguire, Guardiola insists there is no urgency.

He said: "If we believe we can, we will. If we don't we will survive without a new central defender. We will see."

Guardiola gave his backing to one of City's current centre-backs, John Stones, who this week voiced his determination to bounce back after a spell out of the team late last season.

Guardiola said: "He's a young player. He's made mistakes once or twice, not too much.

"In this kind of situation, if the player is open-minded, you become stronger. If he accepts it is part of the process to be better, and pushes himself to be better, he will do it."

Guardiola was sat alongside midfielder Phil Foden and was asked to give his opinion on the 19-year-old.

The highly rated Foden, who has been gradually introduced to the action by Guardiola over the past two seasons, is likely to be given an increased role in the coming year.

With Foden grinning next to him, Guardiola said: "Well, I have said many times, but maybe not said it in front of him, Phil is the most, most, most talented player I have ever seen in my career as a manager."

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