Pep Guardiola is happy with his Manchester City squad and says he will not delve into the transfer market in January.

The reigning Premier League champions are enduring a difficult defence of their title this season and are already 11 points behind runaway leaders Liverpool after just 14 games.

Guardiola, however, says he will not be forced into bringing in new players next month, citing the refusal of clubs to part with key players midway through the season.

Speaking ahead of City's Premier League visit to Burnley on Tuesday, Guardiola said: "I don't want any players in January. When they come for an incredible opportunity in January for the next four, five or six years maybe we could think about it, but that is not possible.

"Normally, the players we think could be interesting and add something to our squad, their clubs are not going to sell."

While Guardiola looks set to keep his powder dry in January, he is likely to bring in new faces ahead of the 2020-21 campaign, with David Silva's impending departure already confirmed and Fernandinho's future yet to be resolved.

Fernandinho's contract expires at the end of the season and Guardiola says they will not make a decision on the Brazil international before then.

Asked if he would like Fernandinho to stay, Guardiola said: "I think we are going to decide at the end of the season what the situation is for the players who have finished their contracts.

"We will then decide what we have to do or what is best for the club for the next season."

Guardiola refuted suggestions that he faces a rebuilding job at the end of the campaign, suggesting the squad will instead only require some minor tweaks.

"Well, we don't have to rebuild too much," he added. "Three players [Kompany last season, Silva and Fernandinho] does not mean you rebuild the team.

"Rebuilding the team is when you have seven or eight, like we did in the second season when seven players finished their contracts. Buying two or three players is not rebuilding; it's just substituting positions."

Manchester City head coach Pep Guardiola says he has no plans to stop selecting midfielder Fernandinho in central defence, despite the availability of John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi.

The Premier League champions were thrown into a defensive crisis when Aymeric Laporte was ruled out for six months after damaging the lateral meniscus in his right knee in September.

Stones and Otamendi endured a torrid time in the first game following Laporte's injury against Norwich City, with the latter particularly at fault in a damaging 3-2 defeat.

Guardiola has selected Brazil international Fernandinho as one of his two central defenders for every Premier League game since then and insists he has no intention of stopping.

Asked why he has not played Stones and Otamendi together, Guardiola told reporters at his media conference ahead of City's visit to Burnley on Tuesday: "Because I like Fernandinho in that position. I prefer him in that position; that's why he plays."

Pressed on why he continues to choose a midfielder in defence, Guardiola responded: "I prefer [Ilkay] Gundogan and Rodri in midfield."

Guardiola also reiterated that Sergio Aguero will miss Saturday's derby against Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium.

The Argentina international sustained a thigh injury in the 2-1 win over Chelsea on November 23, with Guardiola saying: "He is not ready for the derby but after the derby we will see."

City's 2-2 draw with Newcastle United on Saturday means they are now a whopping 11 points behind runaway Premier League leaders Liverpool.

Guardiola acknowledges his side will have to be at their best to avoid dropping more points against Sean Dyche's outfit.

"It is always difficult for teams [to play against Burnley]," he added. "What they do they do perfectly. They are so good in the second balls and are free-kick scorers so we need to adapt and play our way.

"They attack really well and in defence they are so aggressive."

Raheem Sterling's development into one of the Premier League's leading players is down to a change of lifestyle off the pitch and taking more responsibility on it, according to Manchester City team-mate Fernandinho.

Sterling, 24, joined City to much fanfare in 2015 after breaking into Liverpool's first-team as a teenager, his potential costing the Blues a reported £50million.

While he continued to show signs of his capability in the first two seasons at the club, Sterling also attracted criticism for his lack of composure in front of goal and erratic final pass.

But in 2017-18 he found another level, scoring 18 Premier League goals. He then went on to net 25 across all competitions the following campaign, helping City retain the league title.

He is on track to easily surpass that figure this term, having already scored 13 in 14 games on all fronts, and Fernandinho puts his success down to off-field maturity, having often been the subject of negative headlines as a youngster.

"I think this is maybe a case of us all being human beings," Fernandinho said ahead of Saturday's visit of Southampton. "Sometimes we fail in some actions, sometimes we make some mistakes, that's normal, especially when you are young.

"He's improved outside the pitch. He changed his style of life, style of living, it helps him a lot on the pitch. He's taken more responsibility on the pitch.

"He's a father too. You start to see the world in a different way and you start to see things changing [when you're a father]. I think he's done very well and, as I say, we are so happy for him.

"I think he is taking the chances we create as a team and that's good because the way we play as a team, we create a lot of chances in the box.

"The players know we're going to create chances, he understands it really well. He's improved a lot, the way he finishes, he scores goals and the way he grew up as a player and a person, he got more experience.

"That's good for him and I hope he can continue to grow up and improve more."

At 34, most players would be considering their future in professional football.

And while Fernandinho is not about to set an age target for his retirement, he is no rush to hang up his boots while his body remains able to meet the demands of top-flight football.

"To be honest, I just thank God for giving me a body that I can do this," he added. "Every three days, I have to be mentally ready and improve my body to be ready.

"Of course, I take care of myself, but we have great staff taking care of us behind the scenes which helps because first you have to get the mind ready and then the body and just go on.

"I always say I'll play until my mind will allow me to play. When I feel happy and motivated to play every day, this is important, to train happy and fresh every day.

"So, until I don't feel like this, I will play, but I don't want to say until 37, 38…40; we shall see."

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said "there are a lot of games to go" after his side handed the Premier League title advantage to Liverpool with a shock home defeat to Wolves.

The Reds – last season's runners-up behind City – opened up an eight-point lead over Guardiola's men on Saturday with a last-gasp win over Leicester City.

City were unable to bridge that gap at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday, however, with two late Adama Traore goals giving Wolves a surprise, but thoroughly deserved, three points.

The margin of victory could have been even greater had Nuno Espirito Santo's side taken advantage of a host of opportunities handed to them in the first half by City's porous defence.

Guardiola defended his players, however, and believes there is plenty of time left in the campaign for them to claw their way back into contention for a third consecutive Premier League triumph.

"Come on guys, there are a lot of games to go," he told a media conference. "We lost to a good team, who were really organised, so strong in the air and so fast in the counter attack.

"I know these guys [his players]. Still they are incredibly involved and can do it. What happened, happened. Most of the teams who won [the Premier League] in the past, the year after, don't win.

"Today, we were not at our usual level. The previous games were good, but the distance is big. I know that. Liverpool is not dropping points. But we are in October; there is still a lot of games and competitions."

The continued absence of Aymeric Laporte and John Stones meant Guardiola was once again forced into fielding Nicolas Otamendi and midfielder Fernandinho in central defence.

They were caught out on a number of occasions by Wolves' incisive counter-attacking moves, while Otamendi was guilty of a host of misplaced passes and errant challenges throughout the 90 minutes.

Guardiola defended the pair, though, and stated they were not helped by the carelessness of the players in front of them.

"They were quite good," he said. "They suffered because we lost the position in front of them. No central defenders can defend the kind of balls we lose there. They were good."

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."

Ilkay Gundogan welcomed the return to fitness of Benjamin Mendy as "a big boost" for Manchester City at a time when the club are without two key defenders.

Aymeric Laporte and John Stones missed City's 3-0 Champions League Group C victory over Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday with injuries and Pep Guardiola moved Fernandinho into central defence alongside Nicolas Otamendi.

Mendy came on as a second-half substitute to make his first appearance since City's Champions League quarter-final elimination to Tottenham in April and Gundogan highlighted the importance of his return.

"It was great to see Benjamin back and it is a big boost for us," Gundogan told the club's official website.

"Having him available again will be great for the team because we have missed him for the past five months and it's also good for him.

"His fitness will improve as he gets some more game time and last night was an important step forward for him.

"We have lost a number of players recently, so having an important member of the squad return is just what we needed.

"We are competing in so many competitions and every player has a part to play so I'm really happy to see him return."

Gundogan made his fourth start of the season against Shakhtar and put in an impressive performance as he played the full 90 minutes of the win.

After playing a role in Riyad Mahrez opening the scoring, Gundogan got City's second and spent the game pulling the strings alongside Kevin De Bruyne and Rodri in midfield.

He gave a modest assessment of his own performance while looking ahead to City's clash with Watford on Saturday, when they will hope to bounce back from a 3-2 defeat at Norwich City in their last Premier League outing.

"I'm happy but I know I can still improve," said Gundogan. "It was good to get a goal and also play the full 90 minutes because I think I needed that.

"It helps me, it helps the team and it helps everyone because we wanted to respond quickly.

"As you can imagine, the defeat at Norwich was very hard to take for us, that's why beating Shakhtar was even more important and we can take this win into Saturday's game against Watford which is already very close."

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