Pep Guardiola reveals his South American Man City stars will return early from holiday to fight for first-team spot – The Sun

PEP GUARDIOLA says some of his South American stars will come back early in a bid to earn a place in his Manchester City team.

Five players are still on their summer holidays after taking part in the Copa America in Brazil this summer.


Sergio Aguero, Nicolas Otamendi, Gabriel Jesus, Ederson and Fernandinho all got to the latter stages of the competition.

Meanwhile Riyad Mahrez has only just finished his season after helping Algeria go all the way in the Africa Cup of Nations.

It means there is a big hole in Guardiola's City squad out here on the Far East tour – but he has been encouraged by their enthusiasm to return.

He said: "Some of them will come on the 29th or 30th, others come 3rd or 4th August.

"They decide whether to come back after three or four weeks off.

"But I don't want them to come back if they are not fit, if they are tired and have still not recovered from a tough season."

They have to rest, but if the people want to come back a little bit earlier, they are more than welcome.

Guardiola was asked what his feeling was that some of them had opted to cut their holidays short.

He said: "It means a lot, I like it. The manager creates incredible training sessions. That's why they want to come back earlier.

"They know they want to come back, like Raheem said before, the standard has risen every season.

"And if they want to play they have to be fit."

Yet there was a warning for Guardiola about the schedule that international players have to cope with in the modern game.

He added: "We cannot forget we are starting the season and Riyad Mahrez hasn't finished the previous one.


"It's a crazy schedule and we'll kill our players sooner or later, we cannot sustain it for a long time.

"They have to breathe, rest, give more quality in the tournaments.

"They have to rest, but if the people want to come back a little bit earlier, they are more than welcome."

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