Guardiola wants replacement for Mendy in January transfer window


Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has indicated his main priority in the January transfer window will be to buy a replacement for injured defender Benjamin Mendy.

France left back Mendy will be out for the next six months after suffering cruciate knee ligament damage during City's victory over Crystal Palace last month.

Guardiola can use Fabian Delph, Danilo or Ukrainian youngster Oleksandr Zinchenko in Mendy's absence, but he believes the former Monaco defender, signed for £52 million (S$93.4m) in the close season, will be sorely missed.

The City manager spoke about Mendy's influence after refusing to comment on the possibility of signing Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez in January.

City failed with an attempt to sign Sanchez in August, but Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger recently indicated that the Chile forward, along with teammate Mesut Oezil, could be sold when the transfer window reopens because both will be out of contract at the end of the season.

Guardiola said: "The transfer window is closed now. Unfortunately, it was long open but now it is closed. We will see about January, we are in October.

"The only problem we have - a big, big problem we have - is Mendy, six months out.

"We'll suffer even though we have the exceptional Fabian, Danilo and even Zinchenko.

"Mendy was and is so important for us and, unfortunately, six months (is) a long time."

Guardiola has indicated that forward Sergio Aguero is ahead of schedule in his recovery from a broken rib sustained in a recent taxi crash.

Aguero returned to light training on Tuesday, even though he looked set to be out for more than a month after being injured in the accident in Amsterdam on Sept 28.

He has suffered no ill effects after three days of training, including a full session with his teammates on Thursday.

Guardiola said: "Hopefully, as soon as possible, he'll be back.

"Maybe on Saturday - today we're going to see the last training session and we'll see." - AFP

eplmanchester cityStoke City