Transfer interest in Harry Kane could disrupt Tottenham's long-term chances of keeping their team together, according to Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

Tottenham entertain Bundesliga leaders Bayern in an important Champions League encounter in Group B on Tuesday.

It shapes as a huge test for Mauricio Pochettino's men, who have struggled to find form and fluency this term, winning three of nine matches in all competitions.

Star striker Kane conceded the speculation that surrounded several squad members during the close season has been a challenge and Rummenigge thinks the England captain's own future could provide headaches for manager Pochettino.

"They have a good team," Rummenigge told reporters as Bayern prepared to fly to London on Monday.

"The question is whether they can keep this top team together for a long time, because Christian Eriksen's contract expires next year.

"There are certainly also clubs that are interested in Harry Kane."

He added: "Kane is a top player who, like Robert Lewandowski, scores an incredible number of goals.

"They are perhaps the two best strikers in the world right now.

"I hope Robert will do better than Kane tomorrow but it's not easy to stop him, he's a world-class striker."

Tottenham were not alone in having to manage uncertainty during the previous transfer window, with Bayern involved in one of the most-prominent sagas.

The Bavarian outfit aggressively pursued Leroy Sane until the Manchester City star suffered a serious knee injury in August.

Bayern president Uli Hoeness has since revealed the winger's fitness will be assessed in January ahead of another possible approach, but Rummenigge is paying little thought to the situation.

"To be honest I have no eye on him at all because I don't speak about players that are still under contract at other clubs," he said.

"FIFA rules don't allow that and I will always stick to that."

Liverpool maintained their 100 per cent Premier League record courtesy of a fortuitous moment in a 1-0 win over Sheffield United at Bramall Lane on a weekend when their nearest rivals kept the pressure on.

There were landmark goals and appearances for major players in Manchester City's 3-1 victory over Everton at Goodison Park, while Tottenham picked up a much-needed win as Harry Kane extended his outstanding record in matches against Southampton.

Spurs went into the weekend under pressure, as did rivals Chelsea who ended an unwanted 11-game streak as they beat Brighton and Hove Albion 2-0 at Stamford Bridge.

Our Premier League Data Diary brings to light the detail behind the big stories of this weekend's top games.



There were few of the fireworks that erupted during their eight-goal win over Watford but Manchester City still had enough attacking power to claim a 3-1 victory over Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday.

Gabriel Jesus opened the scoring by heading in a Kevin De Bruyne cross, giving him a 22nd goal in his past 21 starts for club and country and an eighth league assist of the season for the in-form De Bruyne.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin equalised before the interval but Riyad Mahrez's fine free-kick and Raheem Sterling's 100th club goal in all competitions ended Everton's resolve and earned substitute David Silva a 200th Premier League victory in record time, the City captain making his 289th appearance in the competition.

The Toffees did manage eight shots on target, the most the champions have faced in a top-flight fixture since November 2015, but Calvert-Lewin's prodded first-half finish was all they took from a fourth defeat of the campaign.


Dean Henderson's howler gifted Liverpool a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Sheffield United at Bramall Lane and a club record-extending 16th successive Premier League win.

England Under-21 goalkeeper Henderson, on-loan from Manchester United, failed to keep out a tame Georginio Wijnaldum volley as the Reds made the breakthrough in the 70th minute with their first shot on target.

Jurgen Klopp's men were forced to battle hard but have now won seven games at the outset of a league season for just the second time, having first done so in 1990-91.

Their undefeated run in the Premier League, which began in January, stands at 24 matches leading into next weekend's home meeting with Brendan Rodgers' Leicester City.


Tottenham entertained Southampton having won just one of their previous five Premier League matches but survived Serge Aurier's sending-off and a Hugo Lloris howler to pick up their eighth victory over the Saints in nine league attempts at home.

Mauricio Pochettino's men started well, with Tanguy Ndombele scoring his second league goal for Spurs in the 24th minute, and he has now scored more goals (2) in five Premier League appearances for the north London club than he managed in 69 Ligue 1 appearances for Amiens and Lyon combined (1).

Aurier then picked up his second booking of the game for a foul on Ryan Bertrand in the 32nd minute and became the first Tottenham player to be sent off in a Premier League home game since Kyle Naughton against Stoke City in November 2014.

But after Lloris gifted Danny Ings an equaliser, Harry Kane pounced from 12 yards with Spurs' winner in the 43rd minute and took his tally to six in six straight Premier League appearances against Southampton, and only Robin van Persie vs Stoke (8), Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink vs West Ham (7) and Romelu Lukaku vs West Ham (7) have had longer scoring streaks against an opponent in the competition.


Frank Lampard's first home victory as Chelsea head coach came at the expense of Brighton, who suffered a 2-0 reverse at Stamford Bridge - their ninth defeat in nine league matches between the two sides.

The result gave Chelsea the record for most games played against a single opponent while winning every single one, surpassing Bournemouth's eight victories against Wimbledon, as well as their first clean sheet under Lampard.

It was Chelsea's first clean sheet since their goalless draw with Leicester City on the last day of the 2018-19 Premier League season, ending a run of 11 matches in all competitions without a shut-out, and Jorginho's goal from the penalty spot was his second of the season - more than he mustered in 54 games last term.

Willian added a second 14 minutes from time, finding the net for the first time in 17 Premier League appearances for Chelsea despite having 32 shots at goal during that period.

Lampard will have been delighted with the clean sheet, but also with the fact that Chelsea attempted 17 shots in the first half alone - their highest total in an opening 45 minutes of a Premier League game since August 2013 (18 against Hull City).

Manchester City captain David Silva reached 200 Premier League wins quicker than any player in Premier League history this weekend.

The former Spain international came off the bench to help see out a 3-1 triumph at Everton after Gabriel Jesus, Riyad Mahrez and Raheem Sterling were on target at Goodison Park.

It was Silva's 289th appearance for City, meaning he reached his double century 16 games quicker than the previous record-holder – Chelsea great John Terry who chalked up 200 wins in 305 outings.

Terry's former Chelsea colleagues Petr Cech (310 matches) and Ashley Cole (318 matches) are also in the top five, with Manchester United icon Ryan Giggs (315 matches) there as well.

Since joining City from Valencia in 2010, Silva has made a strong claim to be regarded as the club's greatest ever player.

This will be his final season at the Etihad Stadium, and the Opta numbers we have combed through below underline what an exceptional performer the four-time Premier League winner has been.

A crafter and finisher of chances

Since Silva's Premier League debut in August 2010, only Ben Foster has played more matches in the division, with the goalkeeper making 292 appearances.

Silva has scored 55 goals top-flight goals, making him the third most prolific midfielder behind Yaya Toure (62) and weekend opponent Gylfi Sigurdsson (59) during his time in England.

No one rivals him in the assists stakes, however.

The World Cup winner has set up 87 goals in the Premier League – Christian Eriksen (61) is the closest to him.

Similarly, he is way out in front for chances created since August 2010, with his 751 significantly higher than Eden Hazard's 595.

No one expected the Spaniard's intuition

Pep Guardiola acknowledged he initially had doubts about Silva's suitability to the more physically demanding Premier League when he swapped Mestalla for the Etihad Stadium.

Many others were of the same opinion, but his impact on the Premier League is undeniable, having seamlessly adapted.

Cesc Fabregas is the only Spaniard to have more goal involvements (161) than Silva (142), while the former Arsenal and Chelsea man also set up a greater number of goals (111 compared to 87).

But Fabregas played 350 matches as opposed to Silva's 289, meaning he could yet usurp the Barcelona youth product.

The only Spanish player to score more Premier League goals than Silva is Fernando Torres with 85, though it seems unlikely he will topple El Nino.

A City great

In the Premier League era, no player has featured more for City than Silva, with Joe Hart (266), Vincent Kompany (265) and Richard Dunne (253) trailing in his wake.

Sergio Aguero is by far their most potent finisher during that time with 172, though Silva will fancy his chances of getting up to second before he eventually leaves or retires, with Carlos Tevez (58) and Yaya Toure (62) the only two in his way.

Again, Aguero is well clear at the top of the chart for goal involvements on 217, but Silva is second with 142. Of current City players, Raheem Sterling is next on 83 (54 goals, 29 assists).

If Manchester United want to keep Paul Pogba, it is going to cost them.

Pogba wanted to leave Old Trafford as Real Madrid and Juventus circled before the transfer window closed.

Now, Pogba has some personal demands for United.



Manchester United star Paul Pogba wants to double his salary to £30million in order to stay at the club, reports Tuttosport.

Pogba eyed an Old Trafford exit prior to the close of the transfer window, with LaLiga giants Real Madrid and former club Juventus interested.

A move did not materialise and now Pogba is looking to secure a new bumper contract in Manchester.



- According to the Daily Star, England manager Gareth Southgate is Tottenham's first choice to succeed Mauricio Pochettino. The pressure is on at Spurs, who are struggling for form as doubts grow over Pochettino's future in London. Despite Tottenham's dismal start to the season, though, The Sun claims Spurs chairman Daniel Levy is reluctant to part with Pochettino as he feels it would benefit rivals United and Madrid.

- The Express reports West Ham have slapped a £100million price tag on Manchester United and Manchester City target Declan Rice. The Red Devils were linked with the England international during the off-season, however, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side were unable to lure Rice to Old Trafford.

Bayern Munich are still interested in injured Manchester City winger Leroy Sane, according to The Sun. Bundesliga champions Bayern were hoping to sign Sane before the Germany international suffered a serious knee injury.

- The Mirror claims Champions League holders Liverpool fear losing manager Jurgen Klopp to Germany. The Premier League leaders believe they will not be able to convince the former Borussia Dortmund boss to stay at Anfield should he be presented with an opportunity to replace Joachim Low.

Madrid are ready to compete with LaLiga rivals Barcelona for the signing of Napoli's Spanish midfielder Fabian Ruiz according to reports from La Gazzetta dello Sport and Mundo Deportivo.

- Manchester United will demand £20million for Dean Henderson after re-signing star goalkeeper David De Gea, says The Sun. England Under-21 keeper Henderson is on loan at Premier League side Sheffield United but dropped a clanger in Saturday's defeat to Liverpool.

Pep Guardiola admitted the thought of losing more ground on Liverpool played on his mind as Manchester City dug deep to claim a 3-1 win at Everton.

The reigning champions headed into Saturday's Premier League clash at Goodison Park eight points behind Liverpool, who beat Sheffield United 1-0 in the day's early kick-off.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin cancelled out Gabriel Jesus' opener before half-time, but Riyad Mahrez caught out Jordan Pickford from a free-kick 71 minutes in and Raheem Sterling made sure of the points.

With the gap at the top back to five points after seven matches, Guardiola acknowledged the pressure is on his side to keep pace with last term's runners-up.

"We knew Liverpool won again and the gap was eight points, so big," he said at his post-match news conference. 

"So, we won three points and it's five [points] in September, with a lot of points to play for.

"We know which team we're playing right now - they are seven victories in a row, champions of Europe and playing good football. 

"This is our rival and we know we can't drop too many points because last season they lost just one game. 

"The season is long, we have to keep going and be there, maybe we can push them a little bit more and try to make the third Premier League in a row."

Ederson produced a couple of impressive second-half stops to help City on their way to a fourth win on the bounce in all competitions, much to the delight of Guardiola.

"He saved two incredible chances at 2-1 and it was a good game of football," he added.

"We were absolutely outstanding. At Goodison Park it's always difficult - we started incredibly well as usual, we created chances and scored. 

"After that we had a lot of problems to control out left side with Gylfi Sigurdsson, they had one more player there, we had a lot of problems.

"In the second half, except set-pieces and conceding free-kicks and long balls we played good."

Everton winger Theo Walcott was taken from the field on a stretcher in the opening stages of the match after blocking Sterling's cross with his face.

Walcott was taken to hospital but Marco Silva confirmed after the game that the 30-year-old had been discharged.

"He's already in our dressing room," Silva told reporters. "He's okay, he's taking his shower and will go home to rest.

"He had a scan [at the hospital]. Up to now everything is okay. We're just waiting to speak more to the doctor."

Raheem Sterling's lightning start to the season undoubtedly highlighted the immense extent to which he has improved in recent years, becoming a regular Manchester City match-winner almost as decisive as Sergio Aguero.

He struck his sixth Premier League goal of the season in Saturday's 3-1 win at Everton, and although his performance was otherwise erratic, the England international's persistence showed just how far he has come.

It was by no means vintage City on display at Goodison Park, as Everton were unfortunate to not come away with at least a point.

Pep Guardiola's myriad of defensive issues again reared their head, with Everton bullying them aerially on numerous occasions – Yerry Mina proving a colossal thorn in City's side with his prowess in the air.

Hindsight is 20-20, but even before Aymeric Laporte's serious knee injury, it was clear City needed greater depth in quality at the back, yet the failure to secure Harry Maguire did not lead to the arrival of anyone else.

With John Stones joining Laporte in the treatment room, Fernandinho has filled in capably at the back for the past three matches, but at Goodison he looked every inch the makeshift option he is – a feeble clearance and attempted tackle leading to Everton's equaliser.

Beside him Nicolas Otamendi was no more convincing, the Argentina defender routinely struggling aerially against Mina at set-pieces.

Aside from Gabriel Jesus' header after Kevin De Bruyne's outrageous cross, City were similarly unimpressive in the opposing penalty area for long periods of the match as well.

Sterling spurned a glorious chance on the hour, inexplicably missing the target when one-on-one with Jordan Pickford, a let-off that suggested Everton might just hang on for a point.

Mahrez had other ideas, however.

The Algerian has struggled for consistency since joining City in his big-money move last year, but when expertly bending a 30-yard free-kick into the bottom-left corner with 19 minutes to go, he was netting in a third successive start across all competitions.

There was more to Mahrez's performance than just that goal, however, the winger toying with Lucas Digne relentlessly – and his solo run leading to De Bruyne's pass for the opener.

All five of the winger's shots were on target and he also laid on five opportunities for team-mates, a figure bettered by no one else on the pitch.

Mahrez then troubled Everton for City's final goal, his cross finding its way through to Sterling after and the former Liverpool talent slammed an effort in off the crossbar, holding his nerve when he might have failed in the past on an otherwise frustrating day for him.

A consistent Mahrez added to attacking options including an unflappable Sterling should make City unstoppable, yet as impressive as the champions' attitude was on Saturday, there remain the lingering defensive doubts that could ultimately cost them the title.

Raheem Sterling defended Bernardo Silva after the Portugal star came under fire for a racially insensitive tweet he sent to Manchester City team-mate Benjamin Mendy.

Silva tweeted – and subsequently deleted – a picture of a young Mendy and a dated image used by Spanish confectionary brand Conguitos alongside the caption "Guess who".

The caricature has been condemned for having racist connotations, though Mendy – a close friend of Silva's – expressed amusement at the post.

Anti-discrimination group Kick It Out and others condemned the tweet, which the Football Association (FA) is investigating Silva for, but Pep Guardiola staunchly backed his player in a news conference on Friday.

Guardiola said Silva was "absolutely not guilty" and Sterling has also leapt to the midfielder's defence following Saturday's 3-1 win at Everton.

"It's a situation no one needs at this moment in time," Sterling said to Sky Sports after scoring his 100th club goal in the victory.

"It's between two friends as everyone knows. I can see exactly why some people can get touchy on it, but in that situation Bernardo made a joke to his friend.

"He's not referred to his skin colour, he's not referred to his lips. Both pictures, they've both got small heads. He didn't refer to a colour. Benjamin knows, he's proud to be black. We know he hasn't referred to his colour.

"It's sad to see Bernardo be really down about it, because he's not that way inclined. They're two really good friends. It's really sad to see.

"I can understand where the criticism has come from, but I don't feel there was any intention of trying to be racist and it's not because it's my team-mates, it's just the way I view it. I don't feel there is any racism in it, but I can see where people have come from.

"Bernardo is deeply sorry about it. He's not in the wrong, for me, but I can see where people think it's wrong. We have to be smart on social media, we understand anything you say or do can be judged and it's just a really sad situation."

Asked his view on how City have handled the issue, Sterling added: "The club, I always believed, would handle the situation right.

"The sooner the FA realise that there was no discrimination the better. At not one moment did he use a negative term about his skin colour. He tried to make a joke and it wasn't the best, but we've got to move on."

Raheem Sterling scored his 100th club goal as Manchester City won 3-1 at Everton in the Premier League on Saturday.

Having missed a great chance after being brilliantly set up by Riyad Mahrez at Goodison Park, the England forward finally found the net in the 84th minute.

Sterling grabbed the clinching goal for the defending champions, his shot crashing in off the underside of the crossbar.

Goal-line technology was required to check if the ball had crossed the line, referee Michael Oliver eventually pointing to the centre circle to confirm Stirling’s landmark strike.

Sterling has now hit 100 goals in his club career, with 23 netted for Liverpool before he joined City in 2015.

David Silva broke a Premier League record as Manchester City won 3-1 at Everton, the club captain becoming the quickest player to reach 200 wins in the competition.

Silva made his 289th Premier League appearance on Saturday, coming off the bench at Goodison Park to help Pep Guardiola's side close out a key victory.

The Spanish playmaker has needed 16 fewer matches to reach the landmark than previous record holder, the Chelsea great John Terry, who got to 200 in 305 outings.

Terry's former Chelsea colleagues Petr Cech (310 matches) and Ashley Cole (318 matches) are also in the top five, with Manchester United icon Ryan Giggs (315 matches) there as well.

Silva's impact on the Premier League has been phenomenal since joining from Valencia in 2010 and he will go down in City history as one of the club's greatest players.

The 33-year-old, who has confirmed he will leave City when his contract expires at the end of the season, has already helped the club to win four Premier League titles.

His roll of honour at the club also includes four EFL Cup crowns and two FA Cups.

Riyad Mahrez's free-kick and Raheem Sterling's late strike earned Manchester City a hard-fought 3-1 Premier League win at Everton.

Liverpool's 1-0 victory at Sheffield United earlier in the day extended their 100 per cent start to the season and moved the Reds eight points clear of City at the top of the table.

After Dominic Calvert-Lewin's fourth goal in three matches drew Marco Silva's men level following Gabriel Jesus' opener, it looked like City would follow their last away game, a 3-2 loss at Norwich City, with another disappointing result on the road.

But Mahrez, who has scored in three consecutive City starts, beat Jordan Pickford with a low curling free-kick and Sterling added gloss to bring the champions back to five points adrift of Jurgen Klopp's leaders.

Mahrez forced a first-minute save from Pickford before a long delay as medics tended to a Theo Walcott head injury, the winger taken to hospital for a precautionary assessment after being replaced by Alex Iwobi.

Algeria star Mahrez made a lively start and Ilkay Gundogan should have converted his excellent cross, the midfielder somehow crashing his shot against the crossbar from virtually on the line.

City's dominance told in the 24th minute, De Bruyne delivering a first-time cross that was impossible to defend, with Jesus - preferred to Sergio Aguero up front - stooping to nod home.

Everton levelled within 10 minutes, Fernandinho's error contributing as Seamus Coleman chipped Ederson, with Calvert-Lewin stealing the goal on the line.

De Bruyne hit a shot into the side-netting after the restart while Ederson made a fine save to keep out Yerry Mina's downward header.

Mahrez's rich vein of form crucially continued with a set-piece that beat an unsighted Pickford, and two missed chances from Calvert-Lewin proved costly as Sterling marked his 200th City appearance by scoring off the underside of the crossbar with six minutes to go.

What does it mean? Defensive deficiencies exposed again

Everton did not cause City as many problems as Norwich two weeks ago, but the champions' defence appeared permeable once more.

Deputising for the injured Aymeric Laporte and John Stones, Fernandinho gave the ball away in the build-up to Calvert-Lewin's leveller. Luckily for the Brazil international, Mahrez's moment of magic settled the game.

De Bruyne provides another masterclass

After an unstoppable performance in last weekend's 8-0 demolition of Watford, De Bruyne was at it again. He has recorded eight assists in the league already this season and nobody has ever set up more goals at this stage of the Premier League season than the Belgium playmaker.

Sterling sitter marks rare off day

With 10 goals for club and country this season, Sterling has hit top form with Guardiola suggesting he could match the level of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in the future.

But despite his late clincher this was a strangely off-key performance from the England star, who made a series of poor decisions and missed an easy chance after being superbly set up by Mahrez.

What's next?

City are at home to Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League on Tuesday before hosting Wolves five days later. Everton go to Burnley on Saturday.

Liverpool's flawless start to their Premier League season continued on Saturday with a hard-fought 1-0 victory at Sheffield United thanks to Georginio Wijnaldum's winner.

The Reds were made to battle by the Blades and secured their seventh win in as many games after Dutch midfielder Wijnaldum's shot squirmed through the legs of Blades goalkeeper Dean Henderson.

Chelsea earned Frank Lampard his first league win at Stamford Bridge with a 2-0 victory over Brighton and Hove Albion, while top-four rivals Tottenham, who were reduced to 10 men, claimed a 2-1 win over Southampton.

Elsewhere, Wolves beat Watford 2-0, Crystal Palace battled to a 2-0 win against Norwich City, and Aston Villa's clash with Burnley and Bournemouth's match against West Ham both finished in 2-2 draws.


This was a day when Liverpool had to roll up their sleeves and get stuck in. Sheffield United did not give Jurgen Klopp's side an inch and the German had to squeeze every ounce of effort out of his players.

It was even more acute when Liverpool's front three of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino seemed to forget where the goal was and errant finishing might have proved costly on another day.

Klopp's side have been renowned for their free-flowing football but they showed a grittier side against dogged opponents at Bramall Lane.

If they are to go one better than last season and beat Manchester City to the title that resilience, especially away from Anfield, is going to be key.


Lampard had gone into this game without a Premier League victory at Stamford Bridge – it was an itch he was absolutely desperate to scratch.

Chelsea thrashed Grimsby 7-1 in the EFL Cup on Wednesday to give Lampard his first win on home soil, but it is the league where the former England international will be judged and he needed three points against Brighton.

At half-time, with the scoreline goalless against the Seagulls, Lampard might have been more than a little concerned.

However, a penalty from Jorginho five minutes into the second half eased the nerves before compatriot Willian added a second to give Chelsea a routine victory.


This had all the hallmarks of being a miserable day for Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino, but he ended up with a smile on his face.

A red card for Serge Aurier just after the half-hour mark and a howler from goalkeeper Hugo Lloris had the whiff of a Tottenham implosion.

Tanguy Ndombele put Tottenham ahead before Aurier was shown a second yellow card. Lloris then sloppily allowed Danny Ings to equalise when he casually received a Toby Alderweireld pass.

Harry Kane had Spurs ahead again before half-time but, playing the majority of the game with 10 men, Southampton had chances. Spurs, though, showed plenty of backbone to earn the three points.


Aston Villa missed the chance for a second league win after they were twice pegged by Burnley. Anwar El Ghazi put Villa ahead before Jay Rodriguez levelled. John McGinn had Dean Smith's side in front again, only for Chris Wood to equalise with nine minutes left.

Bournemouth's clash with West Ham also finished 2-2. Andriy Yarmolenko's third league goal of the campaign put the Hammers in the lead but Josh King equalised. In-form Callum Wilson then struck in the first minute after half-time only for Aaron Cresswell to secure a share of the spoils for the Hammers.

In the day's other games, Wolves banked their first three points of the season with a 2-0 victory over winless Watford, who prop up the rest of the table, thanks to a strike from Matt Doherty and Daryl Janmaat's own goal.

Crystal Palace clinched a 2-0 win over newly promoted Norwich to move into the comfort of mid-table following a penalty from spot-kick expert Luka Milivojevic and an injury-time strike from Andros Townsend.

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola admits it is almost impossible to keep strikers Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus both happy.

Guardiola's preferred system has space for just one out-and-out striker which means he regularly has to leave one of Aguero or Jesus on the bench.

Ahead of Saturday's clash with Everton at Goodison Park, Argentina forward Aguero has eight goals in six Premier League outings.

Brazil international Jesus has netted three goals in five appearances with one each in the Premier League, Champions League and EFL Cup.

Despite the obvious quality of both players, Guardiola suggested he is loath to revert to a different formation which means one - most likely Jesus - looks likely miss out against the Toffees.

Guardiola said: "Both guys are incredible. It's difficult for me. I try to move them and play both.

"Never any player will be happy if they don't play regularly. He plays he will happy, he does not play he will not be happy. 

"But I try to let them both play as much as possible. Sometimes when they're injured, Gabriel or Sergio, the other one plays.

"In some games Gabriel gives me something Sergio cannot give us. And the other games, Sergio gives us what Gabriel cannot. That is the quality.

"Normally I don't play with two strikers. I played with two against Norwich, in the last minutes, and it wasn't good. Our control isn't the best, we're not solid enough."

Guardiola acknowledged he has to handle the striking dilemma sensitively, especially when both players are fit and in good form, and often finds himself apologising to one of the pair.

"They're upset if they don't play, of course," he added.

"You play a Champions League game, a semi-final or a quarter-final, and they are fit and they are strong. 

"They want to play, and the manager says, 'You don't play'. How can they be happy? It's impossible. All I can say with the players is I'm sorry - I have to choose 11. 

"Sergio could have scored five goals against Watford. Gabriel the last game against Preston could have scored three or four. 

"We have many, many games, four competitions and of course everyone is necessary".

Meanwhile, Guardiola dismissed suggestions of strained relations between himself and Belgium midfielder Kevin De Bruyne.

The 28-year-old was left on the bench for City's 3-2 defeat at Norwich and responded with a commanding display in their 8-0 thrashing of Watford.

Guardiola said in the aftermath of the win over the Hornets he was "frustrated" with aspects of De Bruyne's game but subsequently dismissed any notion the player had an attitude problem.

"When he's happy, his performance is incredible," Guardiola said. 

"Like when I do my job, I'm happier so my job I do it better. I communicate better to my players. 

"Sometimes I'm a bit down, I speak few words because not all the days I'm good. Sometimes I'm a little bit sad. It happens to me, it happens to you."

Pep Guardiola has hailed Gabriel Jesus as "an animal" after the Brazil striker expressed frustration at his number of first-team starts for Manchester City.

Jesus made it three goals in as many starts this season when City began their EFL Cup defence with a 3-0 win at Preston North End in midweek, but he is likely to find himself back on the bench against Everton on Saturday.

Sergio Aguero has netted in every Premier League game this season and, although Jesus proclaimed his admiration and respect for City's all-time leading goalscorer in an interview with Esporte Interativo, the 2017 arrival from Palmeiras stated he was "over the 'I have to wait' phase" at the Etihad Stadium.

"He's passionate. I read that interview and it was perfect," Guardiola told a pre-match news conference.

"It was incredibly respectful, like Gabriel is. No problem at all. Of course he wants to play. He is the number nine for Brazil.

"I said recently, he is maybe the only striker in the world at this level who has to have this mentality, a friendship with Sergio and all the team-mates.

"Every time he is on the pitch, if he plays one second, two minutes or 90 minutes, he plays like an animal. In every action he does his best.

"Not just Gabriel, all the players want to play all the games. It's normal. It's not a problem."

Teenage centre-backs Eric Garcia and Taylor Harwood-Bellis also impressed at Preston – a timely boost for Guardiola.

City are short of specialist cover in the heart of defence, following to injuries to Aymeric Laporte and John Stones on the back of Vincent Kompany's departure.

"I knew [they were ready], it was not necessary for them to play against Preston to know it," Guardiola said.

"Of course they are young, they are going to make mistakes like the old players make mistakes.

"Of course they are ready. They can train with us and play with us. If they were not ready they would not have played against Preston."

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola once again defended the character of Bernardo Silva after the midfielder wrote to the Football Association to apologise for the racially insensitive tweet he posted to team-mate Benjamin Mendy.

The FA asked City for their observations this week after Silva tweeted – and subsequently deleted – a picture of a young Mendy and a dated image used by Spanish confectionary brand Conguitos.

The caricature, which has previously been condemned for having racist connotations, was posted alongside the caption "Guess who". Mendy, who has been close friends with the Portugal international since their time together at Monaco, responded in apparent amusement but the tweet was widely deemed to be offensive.

Anti-discrimination pressure group Kick It Out said it was: "shocked that someone who is a role model to millions has failed to understand the discriminatory nature of his post." After deleting his tweet, Silva posted again to say: "Can't even joke with a friend these days.. You guys…"

Omnisport understands Silva wrote a personal letter to the FA on Thursday, in which he is believed to have expressed regret at any hurt unintentionally caused. Mendy also issued support on his behalf, stating he took no offence, as part of the submission.

Speaking ahead of City's Premier League match at Everton on Sunday, Guardiola – as he did in the aftermath of Tuesday's 3-0 EFL Cup win at Preston North End – issued unwavering support for Silva, describing him as an "exceptional person" and claiming he and Mendy are "like brothers".

When it was put to Guardiola that, regardless of offence caused by the tweet, no one was calling Silva a racist, he responded, "It looks like [they are]."

Despite a strong defence of Silva after the Preston game opening Guardiola himself up for criticism, he doubled down on his position and sought to draw a contrast between this social media controversy and recent examples of overt racism inside football stadiums.

"If someone is affected or feels bad for that tweet or any comment it can happen," he said.

"Again, the people who judge Bernardo don't know him and then, after that, it is what it is.

"Bernardo is an exceptional person. He likes to be involved in different situations. Like I said, make a focus on other issues – not on Bernardo because he is absolutely not guilty.

"His intention was just a joke. It is a cartoon and related because the face is quite similar. The same happened a thousand-million times with white people. It is the same.

"That was the intention, it was just a joke. If the people in the FA or departments believe it is the opposite, I think Bernardo and Manchester City are open to listen."

Guardiola added: "[Racism] happened many times, we have to condemn. We have to fight [against] that, what happened in the stadiums.

"Just because you have more money, or different colours of your skin, or your behaviour, or you were born in this place or the other place and you feel a little bit better than the other one, that is ridiculous.

"I don't believe I am something special or different [because of] my country or my social position, or because I talk every three days here in the media [that] I am different to the other ones.

"Bernardo, I think so, because I spoke many times in my three years here with him, is this type of person.

"Like I said, put the focus on other important things and not Bernardo. Bernardo was [making] a simple joke.

"If someone is offended I can understand it. Maybe Bernardo can take lessons and it is not going to happen again."

An Instagram video from last year featuring Mendy and Silva, where the latter jokes his team-mate is "completely naked" is also understood to be part of the FA's investigation. Mendy is wearing a black t-shirt and shorts in the clip.

At his news conference, Guardiola said he had not seen the video.

Bayern Munich will evaluate Leroy Sane's recovery from a serious knee injury before deciding whether to make another move for him, according to club president Uli Hoeness.

Manchester City star Sane was heavily linked with a switch to Bayern in pre-season, with coach Niko Kovac going as far as saying he was "very confident" the winger would join.

Anterior cruciate ligament damage suffered in the Community Shield clash with Liverpool in August ruled the Germany international out for up to seven months and scuppered the Bavarians' hopes of signing him.

But Bayern are not necessarily giving up on the 23-year-old, though any potential deal in 2020 will depend on his rehabilitation.

"We were very interested in him," Hoeness, who will leave his role as Bayern president in November, told Sports Illustrated. "We talked to him, but after his terrible injury we could not continue them [discussions].

"We have to wait and see how his recovery is going, and in January, February they [Bayern's recruitment staff and board] will sit down and think about what's going on."

Coach Kovac came in for significant criticism at times last season and looked in danger of being dismissed before eventually guiding Bayern to Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal success, making the most of Borussia Dortmund's underwhelming second half of the campaign.

Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge did little to help Kovac's situation, saying there was "no guarantee" he would keep his job in April, but Hoeness regularly backed the Croatian and remains a firm believer in him.

"I never understood why he [Kovac] was so harshly criticised in his first season," Hoeness added.

"He's a young coach, he had little experience in the Champions League, but he has won two titles, despite having to build a new team, and it was clear [Arjen] Robben and [Franck] Ribery would leave.

"It was a difficult situation with the old guys and the kids wanting to play. That he still won two titles is incredible. That's why I have to congratulate him on his first season."

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