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Guardiola: I chose City to prove myself

Pep Guardiola has insisted he knew his first season in the Premier League would be challenging, which is one of the reasons he wanted to manage Man City.

As Luke Edwards of the Telegraph reports: “Having filled trophy cabinets at the Nou Camp and Allianz Arena, the manager recognised this would be his toughest challenge.

“Guardiola intends to embrace it, adding that he remains as determined to change the way City play as he is to win trophies. It is the pursuit of a style of football that motivates him, rather than pragmatism in pursuit of winning, and although he concedes it could cost him his job, he remains devoted to his methods.”

Quoted in the piece, Guardiola states: “When I came here people expected a lot of things from me and my staff because we won a lot of prizes in the past.

“But the best football I played at Barcelona was the last year, much better than when we won the Treble or when we won six titles [trophies] in a row. My last year at Munich was much, much better than my first.

“So here, the last day I will be manager, I will be better than now. You need to make mistakes, to understand many things and understand players.

“I know I don't have time, but I will try. If you do not win, they are going to fire you and another guy is going to take your place. That is going to happen, definitely.

“I decided to prove myself and for my family, to move on from our comfort zone. That is why I chose Manchester – to prove myself and have a new challenge.

“If people think: 'Pep's here; City will win.' No. That's not something you can switch on or off. You need many, many other things to change and we are in the process of doing that.

“It's crazy to think I will transform everything. I came to learn. That's why I move on. I came to learn. If I didn't feel like that I'd still be in Barcelona.

“I deserve to be happy as well, and I am so happy when I feel emotion about the way my team plays.”

According to Squawka, the City boss has also received support from a fellow manager, as Chelsea boss Antonio Conte told press his counterpart deserves time to input his methodology.

“In general, when you change country you find a new habit a new language and you have to bring your philosophy,” Conte declared.

“It’s not easy and it’s important to take time to work with your players and bring your method. It’s not easy for a manager with an idea of football, it’s more difficult if you are a coach and not a manager.

“First of all the most important thing is that if you think you want to change everything, you make a mistake. It’s important to concentrate on the most important things for you and your work.”

In other news, you will not be surprised to learn there is plenty of transfer gossip – the first of which is claimed by the Daily Mail.

Writes Jack Gaughan: “Pep Guardiola had not planned to dip into the January transfer market but circumstances have dictated that they are now weighing up whether to spend.

“Sportsmail understands Guardiola would also potentially be open to landing a midfielder on loan as a short-term solution until the summer.

“The Catalan and sporting director Txiki Begiristain are understood to have taken the decision after Ilkay Gundogan was ruled out for the remainder of the season in December.

“Gundogan tore cruciate ligaments in his right knee during the victory over Watford, while Fernandinho now faces a four-match ban after another red card against Burnley on Monday.

“Guardiola could also do business in the troublesome full-back area, although will only sanction a move if a top target becomes available.

“Sevilla's former Blackburn Rovers and Stoke City man Steven N'Zonzi, 28, has been heavily linked with City over the last week.

“N'Zonzi - who has impressed in La Liga this term - has a £25.6million release clause in a contract Sevilla have attempted to renegotiate.”

Meanwhile, the Independent’s Ian Herbert claims City will move for Lucas Hernandez in the summer.

An article reads: “Despite central defence being a priority, City will not be bidding again for Juventus’ Leonardo Bonucci and since Guardiola is thought to feel that any new arrival this month would be ‘signing for the sake of it,’ he is ready to wait for 20-year-old Hernandez.

“That means holding off on a move for the Frenchman, who arrived at Atletico as a 12-year-old in 2007.

“The Atletico president Miguel Angel Gil Marin recently claimed that City made offers this summer for both Hernandez and his 19-year-old left back brother Theo, who has been loaned by Atletico to Alaves.

“With Marin insisting publicly that City could afford to buy-out both players’ clauses, there is clearly a willingness to sell on the Spaniards' part.”

That’s all for today. What do you make of today’s headlines? Let us know on Twitter



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