Guardiola going 'back to basics' for Man City repeat attempt

Man City boss Pep Guardiola could face some squad issues with a plethora of World Cup stars

Man City boss Pep Guardiola could face some squad issues with a plethora of World Cup stars

Southgate left him out of his 23-man squad for the World Cup in Russian Federation, during which Everton keeper Jordan Pickford impressed as number one.

City's record signing Riyad Mahrez made his debut following his £60 million move from Leicester City and nearly grabbed his first goal with a wicked free kick just before half-time.

"No, I'm not disappointed", Guardiola told reporters ahead of City's International Champions Cup clash with Borussia Dortmund on Friday. English football received an exceptional player at the end. We tried, but players have to go where they go.

"For the guy, it would have been a mistake for him and for us if he had made a decision to come here when he wanted to go with Maurizio and Chelsea".

"It is what it is", Guardiola said.

"It's been a pleasure working with academy players over the last few days".

Man City-Mahrez
Man City transfer news Mahrez made his first start for the club against Borussia Dortmund

"It is a pleasure to work with them", said the City boss.

Manchester City will begin their league title defence against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on August 12. But, more important, he hinted that he has the flexibility and intelligence needed to fit into Guardiola's fluent tactical systems, which last season led to City's record-breaking Premier League triumph. It was a good game. If he doesn't play with us he plays with the second team, regularly stay with us and train like with Phil (Foden) and Brahim (Diaz).

Like Sane, Gotze was left out of the 2018 squad and the 26-year-old said he had accepted the disappointment of missing the tournament in Russian Federation.

Mahrez played 72 minutes despite a game riddled with frequent changes, and he was closest to making a breakthrough for City with a 20-yard free kick that was brilliantly tipped over the bar by Dortmund goalkeeper Marwin Hitz.

Gotze said: "Every player wants to be part of the World Cup. We are so happy to have him here".

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