Pep Guardiola spoke to the media on Monday afternoon ahead of Manchester City's Premier League trip to Sheffield United on Tuesday.
City will be looking to bounce back from the 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace at the weekend, but seventh-placed Sheffield United won't make things easy having impressed this season and Chris Wilder's side are a point off European qualification.
Guardiola offered an injury update on Leroy Sane, who are both getting closer to returns. They are unlikely to be ready for the trip to Bramall Lane, but Laporte could return for the weekend clash with Fulham. John Stones is a doubt for Tuesday's game.
City saw Liverpool extend their lead at the top of the Premier League to 16 points yesterday, but Leicester's defeat means there is now a three point gap between the Foxes in third and City in second.
Stick with us for the latest Man City news throughout the day.
Guardiola's praise for Wilder
Some incredibly high praise for Sheffield United from Chris Wilder.
“When people say if you can improve watching other games and other teams and other managers, this is the one. I have never seen some of the movements that they are doing.
“There’s a reason why they are in the position they are, we saw it here a few weeks ago and suffered. I’m really impressed.
“I admire how they play and how they are doing, the same manager and a high percentage of the same players from League One and the Championship and now in the Premier League. I like it.
“As a manager you see some teams that make you think you can improve and this is the one. “
Sheffield United team news
Chris Wilder with the Sheffield United team news
“We’ll assess David [McGoldrick] today.
“He’s had the weekend to recover and we’ll make a decision today. We have no other concerns – everyone came through the Arsenal game. I’m delighted with the opportunity and ability to pick from a full squad.”
Sane and Laporte updates
Guardiola did not confirm when he is expecting Aymeric Laporte to make his City comeback, while Leroy Sane is still working his way back too.
Guardiola asked whether the criticism of Stones from the weekend was unfair.
It was unfair. I’m there, we are there. You have ups and downs in your career. We know his quality
City injury news
Stones and Mendy have problems from the last game.
John had a problem with the last action, Mendy has some muscular fatigue and the others are ok.
Room for improvement
How much can City improve?
I have the same opinion. Our games are good. We concede few but the opponents score goals from few chances and that is difficult to solve. We have to improve in this area because we have scored more goals than Liverpool.
City performances better than they look?
Liverpool have set a new bar
I have my opinion of what we are as a team. We cannot deny that Liverpool are extraordinary in terms of football and results. Every day I live almost 24 hours thinking about what we are doing and what we can do better so I am not distracted by other teams and leagues.
Motivation to finish 2nd
Guardiola in the unusual position of not being in the title race.
To finish second, to improve every day and for the knockout games in the other competitions we have. There always needs to be something exciting to keep going and improve. You cannot play good games in the knockout competitions if you are not running well in the Premier League. It is not that you are good one day and bad in another. You have to maintain your standards.
Guardiola press conference
Pep Guardiola’s press conference is coming up in the next 15 minutes. He’ll be asked for his thoughts on the Crystal Palace game and looking ahead to the Sheffield United game.
Aguero proves Guardiola's point
Pep Guardiola said this at Christmas and Aguero has only made it more significant since.
“Sergio is irreplaceable. We have another incredible striker in Gabriel (Jesus) and maybe another one will come when Sergio leaves - but he is irreplaceable.
“The most important moment of this club - more important than when this club hopefully wins the Champions League - is when Sergio scored that goal against QPR. That moment is much better than four titles in one season or whatever and he was the guy.
“Sooner or later it will happen, he’ll decide when. I’m sure the club will be ready to try to find the guy to replace him but of course it will not be easy.”
Pep Guardiola on Sergio Aguero
Aguero shines despite City setback
More disappointment for City at the weekend but try stopping Sergio Aguero, who scored his 250th and 251st goals for the club.
City have 'bid rejected' for Alessandro Bastoni
City have had a bid for Inter Milan defender Alessandro Bastoni rejected, according to reports.
La Gazetta dello Sport suggest Barcelona have also seen a bid turned down for the 20-year-old this month.
Lautaro Martinez responds to City transfer speculation
Lautaro Martinez says he is flattered by reported interest from City, but is happy in Italy.
“Today, I’m an Inter player and I’m happy here,” he told TycSports.
“The fact that they speak well of me means that I’m doing something right and the intention is to continue on this path.
“I’m calm, happy and at ease with Inter.”
Sergio Aguero in Team of the Week
Garth Crooks has selected the City forward in his BBC Team of the Week.
“I don’t think I have ever seen a Premier League striker with the same appetite to score goals as Sergio Aguero.
“Ian Wright, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Robin van Persie and Thierry Henry all thrilled me during their time in the Premier League but none of them had the insatiable craving for goals quite like Aguero.
“He was the only person who thought the cross was gettable against Crystal Palace for his first goal and his movement and positioning in the box in order to head home past a stranded Vicente Guaita was just sensational. That makes it 145 goals for Aguero at the Etihad and his second was genius. There’s more in the old legs yet.”
Man City linked with Bruno Fernandes
Manchester City made very clear in summer that contrary to reports they were not at all interested in signing Bruno Fernandes from Sporting. Pep Guardiola has said a few times this season that there are no plans to sign a replacement for David Silva because they have Phil Foden, and others.
Two days after United let it be known that they will not be held to ransom over a fee for Bruno Fernandes, threatening to walk away from the deal, suddenly City are ‘interested’. Make that another January deal they won’t be making regardless of what any bookmaker or anyone else might suggest.
City tipped to complete five transfer deals during January
Manchester City are enduring a rough 2019/20 Premier League campaign in comparison to the previous two title-winning seasons and now the January transfer window represents a chance to improve the squad.
The Blues have dropped 21 points this term, five more than they did over the entire 2018/19 season.
Liverpool are widely expected to win their first Premier League title but City are focused on catching up with Jurgen Klopp’s men sooner rather than later.
But who are City most likely to sign during the rest of the month before the transfer window closes?
Read the top five most likely deals City will complete HERE.
Guardiola gives Man City warning over Laporte return
Pep Guardiola has warned Manchester City that they must improve without Aymeric Laporte.
The Frenchman has been one of the positive stories of the month for the Blues; after suffering no ill-effects from returning to training with the squad after his long-term injury, he is expecting to play again in the next week or so.
City will welcome his return. The team have been plagued by inconsistency and mistakes all season that have seen an end to their hopes of defending the Premier League title and that was in evidence again on Saturday.
Guardiola tried to explain how only conceding three shots on target was a good thing, but given the Crystal Palace scored two goals he was forced to admit that improvement is needed. And as much as Laporte’s return should make the team better, the rest of the squad cannot just expect that he will sort everything out on his own.
“They didn’t need much to score goals and we have to improve. We cannot expect that Aymeric is going to solve all of the problems,” said Guardiola.
Read the full story here.
The underdog role City could play in search of Champions League glory
While Pep Guardiola has insisted Man City will ‘fight until the end’ in this season’s title race, Liverpool undeniably have an obvious advantage.
The Merseyside club show no signs of their form relenting and while City will stay true to Guardiola’s promise, their attention may inevitably turn elsewhere in the search for even more silverware to add to their collection.
It’s expected City will have a superb chance in the Carabao Cup if they beat rivals Manchester United in the semi-finals of the competition and the FA Cup may also be in their reach.
Guardiola is already the most successful City boss ever, delivering six trophies in just three seasons, winning the Premier League, the FA Cup and the Carabao Cup, however there’s one trophy that has continued to elude Guardiola since last winning it in 2011.
That is, of course, the Champions League.
Read more here.
Hello, and welcome to another day of Man City transfer chat and build up to the Sheffield United fixture.