Guardiola admits struggle in finding 'new' Fernandinho

Guardiola admits struggle in finding 'new' Fernandinho

Guardiola admits struggle in finding 'new' Fernandinho

"He knows the Premier League, he knows everything and that's so important". In a squad that possesses such strength in depth, the Brazilian's position is perhaps an area of weakness.

Guardiola acknowledges he can not expect Fernandinho, signed from Shakhtar Donetsk in 2013, to play as much for City as he gets older, adding a solution has to be found for next season.

When put to him that Neves might be the type required Guardiola said: "He's an excellent player but there are many clubs in the world, many holding midfielders in the world, and a lot of them can play here".

City are prepared to pay about £70 million all told for De Jong but face serious competition from front-runners Barcelona and Paris St-Germain for the 21-year-old Netherlands midfielder. He can play that holding midfield role.

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

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Guardiola hopes to have the Argentine back for the game against Wolves on Monday, with Vincent Kompany keen to prove his fitness too.

Overall, the City boss appeared pessimistic.

"I know the players' quality from the past three seasons; I know what they can give us until the end of the season". No chance. You have to be quicker and more efficient.

"The most expensive one was Riyhad [Mahrez, £60m last summer] and he earns far away from what the top teams pay".

He said: "I'm not talking about the case of the Ajax player because he is an Ajax player. It looks easy but it's not easy", said Guardiola.

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"When we win, people don't ask about the players we play".

"Gündogan played the last two games like a holding midfielder [against Rotherham United and Burton Albion], he had more space than usual - but he was so clever".

That is part of the reason why their task of finding his successor is not easy, and despite Guardiola's call for speed and efficiency in the market he says his superiors, including sporting director Txiki Begiristain, are doing a hard job very well. "That's why they are doing incredibly well in the Premier League".

The manager said City would do everything they can to help Gabriel Jesus after close relatives including his mother, Vera Lucia Diniz de Jesus, returned to Brazil. "I think it won't be a problem for the next months". "It's complicated, so so complicated".

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