He's incredible - Guardiola hopeful of Fernandinho stay

By Sports Desk September 20, 2019

Pep Guardiola is hopeful midfielder Fernandinho stays at Manchester City beyond the end of the season when his contract expires.

The 34-year-old joined City in 2013 from Shakhtar Donetsk and has gone on to become a vital – if often unheralded – cog in the team.

He featured 29 times last season as City edged out Liverpool in the title race, while he looks set for an important role at centre-back over the coming weeks following injuries to Aymeric Laporte and John Stones.

Spain international midfielder Rodri was brought in from Atletico Madrid in the transfer window, with every indication suggesting him to be the long-term replacement for Fernandinho.

But Guardiola has no desire to see him leave, even if he is unsure about what is happening in terms of discussions.

"It's not my business, I'm sorry guys, it's Txiki's [Begiristain, City sporting director] business," Guardiola told reporters when asked if there had been progress in talks. "Do you have Txiki's phone number?

"Of course, he is a joyful player," Guardiola added when asked if he wanted the Brazilian to stay.

"What he has done for all of us, especially me as a manager, our time together has paid off, it's incredible. He's incredible, so no doubts."

Left-back Benjamin Mendy is closing in on a return to fitness after he missed the majority of last season with a serious knee injury.

And Guardiola is excited for the France international's comeback, convinced he will add another dimension to City's play.

"In the future he is going to play a little bit more regularly and try to understand what we want to do, because he has missed two seasons without training and the guy, to understand things, he has to practice," he said.

"Just for the videos, or just talking, he has to train and play and play and play and always we dreamed that he would be an incredibly important player for us.

"With him we can attack more constantly, he brings a special quality that only he has in our team, so with [Oleksandr] Zinchenko we cannot attack the wides and deep, but his qualities are completely different.

"With Mendy we can do that. Hopefully he can be fit, healthy and play."

Related items

  • Ajax sign Ziyech replacement Antony in €21.75m deal Ajax sign Ziyech replacement Antony in €21.75m deal

    Ajax have confirmed the signing of Antony from Sao Paulo in a €21.75million deal.

    The 19-year-old, who has agreed a five-year contract with the Eredivisie champions, will move on July 1.

    "We will have to be patient for a few more months before Antony can start here, but with him, we are getting a creative player who can play in every position up front," director of football Marc Overmars said via Ajax's website.

    "It's already been established that some of our players will be leaving this summer. We need to plan for that, so it's great that we've been able to finalise this transfer."

    The signing of Antony – a Brazil Under-23 international - comes after Hakim Ziyech agreed to join Chelsea at the end of the season in a deal that could be worth €44m.

  • Solskjaer hails Fernandes effect after Man Utd win over Watford Solskjaer hails Fernandes effect after Man Utd win over Watford

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said the arrival of Bruno Fernandes at Manchester United has "given everyone a boost" after the midfielder scored his first goal for the club in a 3-0 victory over Watford at Old Trafford.

    Fernandes was outstanding throughout on Sunday as United clinched a second consecutive victory in a run of three unbeaten Premier League matches and moved them up to fifth in the table.

    After scoring from the penalty spot to give United the lead, Fernandes created the opening for Anthony Martial to score their second and got the assist that teed up Mason Greenwood for a stunning third.

    Solskjaer later paid tribute to the 25-year-old's pace and his uplifting effect on the Red Devils squad after he followed up an impressive outing in Monday's 2-0 win over Chelsea.

    "Bruno Fernandes is quicker than he looks," the United manager told BBC Sport.

    "[We're] very excited by having him in. He has come in, given everyone a boost and wants to conduct a game."

    Solskjaer continued: "[Bruno] loves playing football, he wants the ball, he's got the personality and character to demand it all the time, wanting to take the penalty.

    "He takes it the way he does to show he is a Man United character, not just a very, very good footballer."

    "[It was] a very good win, two good wins and two clean sheets, some goals to celebrate. Now, we want to kick on," added Solskjaer, whose side entertain Club Brugge in the Europa League on Thursday ahead of their trip to Everton in the Premier League three days later.

    "There are big games coming up now."

    United defender Luke Shaw said the victory had given his team-mates hope of catching Chelsea and qualifying for next season's Champions League.

    Chelsea are fourth in the table, three points clear of United, after following up their loss to the Red Devils with a 2-1 victory over Tottenham.

    Shaw told Sky Sports: "We got what we needed and that was three points. Let's keep pushing.

    "The most important thing is we closed the gap to Chelsea.

    "This club is known for playing in the big competitions. We all miss the Champions League nights so much – that is what we want next season.

    "We need to fight and earn it."

  • Bruno Fernandes targets Champions League with Man Utd after Watford win Bruno Fernandes targets Champions League with Man Utd after Watford win

    Bruno Fernandes is determined to propel Manchester United back into the Champions League after he scored his first goal for the club in an impressive 3-0 victory over Watford at Old Trafford.

    The Portugal international was inspirational for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side on Sunday, scoring their first from the penalty spot and then having a hand in goals for Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood as the Red Devils moved up to fifth in the Premier League table.

    Fernandes, who sent Watford goalkeeper Ben Foster the wrong way with a skip in his run-up, was delighted to get a first home triumph with his new club – and hopes there are plenty more to come this season.

    "This is the day every player wants to have," Fernandes said. "I had the luck to score and win the game. We all gave our best and gave an excellent game, finally my first win at home.

    "Everyone knows we want to take a Champions League place. It's not new for anybody. I'm just here to help the team to conquer this place and keep winning games."

    On his penalty technique, he added: "It's the way I shoot a penalty. I feel confident shooting this way. I don't shoot just in that way but today I think it was the best way to score, so I just tried and was lucky enough to score."

    Fernandes aimed a friendly dig at team-mate Martial, who denied him an assist in the process of scoring United's second.

    Martial received the ball from Fernandes and fired a shot that Foster saved, only for the France international to chip the ball beyond the keeper at the second attempt.

    Fernandes did set up Greenwood to score with a rocket of a shot, and he pointed out that it could easily have been two assists.

    "I hope Anthony scores more goals when I pass the ball to him and not him miss the goal and take the ball again, because if he scores it's two assists," said Fernandes.

    "Last week he said he never scores on my assist, but I think it's not my fault!"

    He added: "I just need to help the team. This is what I want to do and what I need to do."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.