City have taken advantage of mid-season gaps in the fixture schedule in previous years to travel to work in Abu Dhabi.

Guardiola happy to dream of warm-weather camp as Man City battle on four fronts

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  • 2019-01-11 23:10:13 10 months ago
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Pep Guardiola is happy for the “dream” of a warm-weather training camp to wait as Manchester City pursue glory on four fronts.

City have taken advantage of mid-season gaps in the fixture schedule in previous years to travel to work in Abu Dhabi.

Rivals Manchester United have spent the past week in Dubai but City could not head abroad because they were involved in the Carabao Cup semi-finals.

Manchester City training
Manchester City do not have many fixture gaps to head for warm-weather training (Mike Egerton/PA)

With one Premier League game already needing to be rearranged, and title-chasing City also continuing in the FA Cup and Champions League, it may not happen this year.

“It would be a dream,” City boss Guardiola said.

“Last season this period was quite similar but after Wigan beat us in the FA Cup we took time to go there.

“But this morning I saw the schedule. The Everton game is going to be fixed in another week. We don’t have many (gaps).

“We will see but hopefully not because that would mean (we) will continue in the FA Cup and especially the Champions League. If we don’t, we will have this time in the summer.”

City are firmly back in the title race after beating Liverpool to cut the Reds’ lead at the top of the table to four points in their crunch clash last week.

With a star-studded squad and the considerable weight of past league successes behind them, City could make life uncomfortable for the Merseysiders but Guardiola feels the crown is still Liverpool’s to lose.

“I prefer to be in Liverpool’s position,” said City boss Guardiola at a press conference to preview Monday’s encounter with Wolves.

City will hope to have Sergio Aguero back to face Wolves after a bout of illness but Gabriel Jesus excelled in his place in Wednesday’s 9-0 thrashing of Burton, scoring four times.

The 21-year-old put his renewed confidence of late down to having his family over to stay from Brazil but they are now due to return home.

Guardiola accepts it can be difficult for youngsters to settle in different countries but has promised that City will be there to support him.

He said: “The players know they are in an incredible club who try to take care of all of us, all the people working in this organisation.

“The private life is the private life and if they need something we are there. We are there to help.

“Of course, we cannot substitute the mother and when the family can’t be there, it’s difficult. They have to handle the situation but of course he is not alone, he has friends.

“He has an incredible relationship with the Brazilian guys, like Danilo, Fernandinho, Eddie (Ederson), Bernardo, many, many players here.

“I think it won’t be a problem for the next months.”

There were suggestions Kevin De Bruyne, who only recently returned from injury, was unhappy about being substituted after 58 minutes against Burton but Guardiola claimed to know little about it.

He said: “I didn’t speak with him.”

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Guardiola happy to dream of warm-weather camp as Man City battle on four fronts

Sarri tells Chelsea to sign ‘two players’ amid links with Higuain, Icardi and Barella

CHELSEA manager Maurizio Sarri admitted he would like to bring in two new players this month - though he is not in charge of transfers.

The Italian spoke ahead of Chelsea’s Premier League fixture against Newcastle this Saturday.

 Sarri wants to sign two players this month

Sarri revealed he wants to sign two players in this months window, but reiterated he is not in charge of the clubs transfers.

Sarri said: "As you know very well I am not in control of the transfer market.

“In my opinion we need two players, but then it is up to the club."

Sarri is reportedly keen to bring in a striker this month, with Gonzalo Higuain linked with a move to Stamford Bridge.

 Higuain has been heavily linked with a move to Chelsea
 The Argentine had his most prolific season under Sarri at Napoli

Higuain scored a record 36 Serie A goals for Napoli in 2015–16 under Sarri, and it is understood the Chelsea manager is wanting to link up with the Argentine once again.

When asked where Chelsea need to bolster their squad, Sarri said "As you can understand, I cannot tell you.
"The club knows my opinion.

"My opinion is important for the club, but I cannot tell you my opinion.”

Chelsea have also been linked with Mauro Icardi, Callum Wilson and Edinson Cavani as potential names to end their striking problems.

 Wilson is also a target for the Blues

While Alvaro Morata could depart Stamford Bridge with La Liga clubs Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Seville all keen on the ex-Real Madrid forward.

Morata can only be freed from his Chelsea nightmare if the Blues can secure one of their transfer targets.

Sarri said: "Of course if he was to go to another club then we need a replacement.

"But at the moment he is here, he has to think only to play.

"There are 300 players involved in the market and they need to think only to the next match otherwise it is impossible to play.”

Also set to leave Chelsea is midfielder Cesc Fabregas, as the Spaniard edges closer to swapping the Premier League for Ligue One with Monaco close to signing the 31-year-old.

 Morata is a reported target for La Liga sides Sevilla, Atletico, and Barcelona

Sarri admitted he would like to see Fabregas leave Chelsea, however, like his teammate Morata, no deal to leave can be finalised unless a replacement can be found.

He said: "You know very well my opinion, I think he needs to go.

"At the moment for his mental condition. He is not able to play I think.

"I need a replacement, but I don’t need an important player like Cesc unhappy here.”

Chelsea have earmarked Cagliari’s Nicolò Barella and Zenit Saint Petersburg’s Leandro Paredes as targets to freshen up their midfield.

 Fabregas has reportedly agreed a deal with Monaco
 Barella is a target for Chelsea

According to The Telegraph, Chelsea have deals in place to sign the pair, but they have not yet decided whether they will go ahead with the deals.

Barcelona wants Alvaro Morata on loan from Chelsea but deal hinges on Denis Suarez agreement

 

 

Chelsea in striker crisis as goal-shy club warned off Icardi AND Wilson

CHELSEA have been dealt a massive blow in their pursuits of Callum Wilson and Mauro Icardi.

Eddie Howe confirmed he would not sell the Bournemouth striker for any price and Inter Milan's president played down the speculation linking Icardi with a move to the Bridge.

 Callum Wilson has scored ten goals and made five assists this season

Maurizio Sarri is desperate to land a new striker because the Blues have scored fewer goals than any other team in the top six of the Premier League.

It is reported that Chelsea will pay up to £50million for Wilson if they do not land top target Gonzalo Higauin. 

But Bournemouth boss Howe has claimed that he is not willing to sell the 26-year-old this month.

He said: "It's just my opinion but I wouldn't sell at any price.

 Mauro Icardi has also attracted interest from Spanish giants Barcelona

"But I'm the manager of the team, trying to create the best team I can.

"We desperately want to take the team forward and to do that, we have to keep our best players.

"He's a very important member of the team. He has unique attributes which really compliment what we do.

"He has been a really good goalscorer for us, which is the hardest thing to do in the sport. We value him very highly.

Callum Wilson vs Mauro Icardi league records since 2015

Callum Wilson

Games played: 81

Minutes played: 5780

Goals: 28

Assists: 7

Shots: 143

On target: 57

Conversion rate (%): 19.58


Mauro Icardi

Games played: 117

Minutes played: 9905

Goals: 78

Assists: 15

Shots: 311

On target: 138

Conversion rate (%): 25.08


 Maurizio Sarri's side have scored less goals than any other team in the top six this season

"I've been told something about the speculation - it's not something which I seek to read. It's a waste of time for me to do so.

"It's business as normal. Callum has been bright and bubbly this week so there are no problems there."

Inter Milan ace Icardi has also been linked to Chelsea, but the striker's wife and agent has revealed he is "very far" from reaching a deal.

And club president Steven Zhang advised fans to keep calm as he discussed a contract renewal for the Argentine ace.

 Eddie Howe seems confident that Callum Wilson will stick with Bournemouth this season

He said: "Mauro is our captain, soon we will all meet up and talk about his contract.

"There are a lot of things being reported in the newspapers but some of the things are not true.

"We are not locked in talks with the player and everything is OK.

"Do the fans have to worry? No, they can be calm. Absolutely"

Struggling Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata looks set to leave this month - with Barcelona also now interested in the 26-year-old.

 Chelsea will reportedly splash out up to £50m to sign Callum Wilson
Barcelona wants Alvaro Morata on loan from Chelsea but deal hinges on Denis Suarez agreement
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