Guardiola: City can't compete with Barca or Madrid amid De Jong links

Gabriel Jesus

Before tonight's Premier League match against Wolves at the Etihad Stadium, Guardiola emphasised that this summer City must sign an adequate alternative to Fernandinho, the holding midfielder who turns 34 in May. "I know exactly what they do, with the (City) academy, with the first team and they are doing it really well".

"That was a very important moment, it made us realise we were ready to compete in the Premier League".

Rui Patricio and Matt Doherty were both among the players who did not feature against the Reds last Monday, and the pair should take their place in the starting line up in this match.

"But of course we cannot substitute the mother and, when the family can't be there, it's hard".

Simon Bajkowski says Guardiola's biggest selection dilemma is likely to come in midfield.

"If you have no injuries and you are satisfied, as in our case, with the squad we have, we decided going well, going bad, (we stick) with the same players we started the season".

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Without actually naming Frenkie de Jong, when he was asked about City's interest in the Dutch midfielder he skewed off in an interesting direction. That is not going to happen, we are not going to pay £100m for a holding midfielder. But, of course, for the next season it's an important target to find. We are there, but the focus now is who the next one is, which competition and then try to do our job.

Pep: Gundogan could be future Ferna successor: Pep Guardiola has heaped praise on Ilkay Gundogan. The German at least looked comfortable in the position as Fernandinho was rested for the cup thrashings of Rotherham and Burton over the past week, which City won by a combined scoreline of 16-0.

"The system at Wolves involves playing with two holding midfielders, not just one". He had more space than usual but he was so clever.

"Goal understands that City have been impressed with the 22-year-old's form so far this season, especially his performances against them in the Champions League, and he remains a viable option for the coming months, "Lee writes". His quality is incredible, we knew that. He can play that holding midfield role.

Ahead of hosting Wolves in the Premier League on Monday night, Guardiola said: 'I didn't speak with him that one time, so I can not say what he thinks because I don't know.

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