Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola admits being ‘disappointed’ that Phil Foden, Ilkay Gundogan and John Stones missed the club’s pre-season tour of America
- Three of Manchester City’s stars have missed the club’s US pre-season tour
- The trio have instead gone out to train with the Under-23 team in Croatia
- Pep Guardiola insisted his side will still be prepared for the start of the season
- He also dismissed rumours that City were planning a bid for Neymar as ‘not true’
Pep Guardiola admitted the absence of three first-team stars has scuppered Manchester City’s chances of a rare perfect pre-season.
Phil Foden, Ilkay Gundogan and John Stones are all out in Croatia with the club’s Under-23 team after failing to meet America’s entry requirements for two tour friendlies.
While Guardiola insisted the trio will be ready for the start of the campaign, he had hoped for a full compliment as they prepare for a second consecutive title defence.
Ilkay Gundogan was one of three key players to miss Manchester City’s US pre-season
Phil Foden was also absent as the trio trained with the Under-23s in Croatia instead
‘It’s disappointing, I would like them to be here,’ Guardiola said. ‘Our second season, when we ended up with 100 points, was the only season when we were all together.
‘Since then it’s always been four players arriving and then a week later another one. We started those seasons with incredible problems. Every year we drop points.’
City’s first of only two pre-season friendlies is against Club America in Houston, while defender Ruben Dias was the only player to miss the Tuesday’s session.
Guardiola added: ‘This season I thought maybe we will be all together but due to the personal situation of these players. But it’s what it is, we are going to move forward and we have to adapt.
John Stones was the third absentee as City prepare for a Premier League title defence
‘Pre-season there can be three, four, five weeks but now it’s over. But they are fit, they are training with the Under 23s and they’ll come back and join us and they’ll be fine.’
Guardiola also shut down talk of City exploring a move for Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar, with the club having maintained all summer that they would not look to replace Raheem Sterling.
‘I’m sorry but it’s not true,’ he said. ‘That information is not right. Neymar is an incredible player and the info I have he’s an incredibly nice guy. But it’s not right. Every summer (they say that) Manchester City are going to buy 150 players.’
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