Carabao Cup Review: Manchester City beat Fulham 2-0

By George Davis, Alex Jordan and Lance Whittaker November 01, 2018

Manchester teenager Brahim Diaz scores twice as City overcome Fulham.

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  • Guardiola not interested in 'exceptional' Saul Guardiola not interested in 'exceptional' Saul

    Manchester City are not preparing to smash their transfer record with a bid for Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez, according to manager Pep Guardiola.

    Reports in Spain suggested City were ready to meet Atleti's €150million release clause for Saul, as they search for a long-term successor to Fernandinho.

    Ex-Barcelona boss Guardiola spoke of his admiration for Saul at a news conference ahead of City's Champions League match against Hoffenheim, but insisted the 24-year-old's long-term future is at the Wanda Metropolitano.

    "Manchester City have interest in 125 players in the last day, so one more," he said in an initially weary response to the rumour.

    "Sometimes I read 'Pep Guardiola is interested in this player'. Still I didn't know him.

    "[Saul] is a fantastic player but we are not interested in him. He is an Atletico Madrid player who is going to stay there for a long time because he is an exceptional player."

    One midfielder set to feature prominently in City's long-term future is Phil Foden, after the England Under-21 international signed a contract extension until 2024 with the Premier League champions.

    Securing a new deal for Foden is a coup for City after his former youth-team colleague Jadon Sancho's departure to Borussia Dortmund last year, while fellow teenager Brahim Diaz is reportedly set to reject an extended stay in favour of a switch to Real Madrid.

    "I'm delighted, I'm happy. It would have been our desire for Jadon to stay here, Brahim to stay here. That was our wish," Guardiola said.

    "With Phil, we convinced him because we believe he has something unique, a special player like Jadon and Brahim.

    "In the next five or six years we are going to help him to be a better player and he is going to help us to be a better team.

    "He is an incredible fighter and he is a Manchester City fan."

    Kevin De Bruyne, Ederson and Raheem Sterling are first-team stars to have signed new long-term deals at City in 2018, with Leroy Sane's future also on the agenda.

    The Germany winger's current terms run until 2021 and he appears set on a stay in Manchester as talks continue.

    "Since the beginning, since I arrived here, I am really happy. I enjoy playing here a lot. The players and the coach are amazing," said the 22-year-old, speaking alongside Guardiola on Tuesday.

    "I felt really at home here from day one and of course [a new contract] is possible."

  • Silva, Fernandinho add to Guardiola's injury woes Silva, Fernandinho add to Guardiola's injury woes

    Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola claims he is down to 15 available senior players for Wednesday's Champions League match against Hoffenheim after David Silva and Fernandinho were added to his injury list.

    Silva will be out for "a few weeks" after sustaining an apparent hamstring injury in City's 2-0 Premier League loss at Chelsea on Saturday.

    Fernandinho completed his team's first league defeat of their title defence but appeared in discomfort towards the end of the 90 minutes.

    Kevin De Bruyne's ongoing rehabilitation from a knee ligament injury means Guardiola's first-choice midfield three from last season are not available to take on Hoffenheim, with a point required for City to secure top spot in Group F.

    Sergio Aguero remains out with an abductor complaint, although the Argentina striker could be back when City host Everton on Saturday, while full-backs Benjamin Mendy and Danilo remain on the sidelines.

    On Silva's injury, Guardiola explained: "He was substituted for a muscular problem. He will be stopped for a few days, a few weeks

    "Maybe Sergio has a chance for the weekend.

    "We have 15 players available, so rotating, I cannot do it too much.

    "We are in a real tough game. We are in the next stage, that is important. We want to win the game because every game we have to try to win, [we want] to finish first.

    "It doesn't matter if you finish first or second, the last 16 is always tough."

    Guardiola spoke of how highly he rates Hoffenheim counterpart Julian Nagelsmann, dating back to their meetings when the Catalan was in charge of Bayern Munich.

    Hoffenheim's efforts in their 3-2 defeat to Shakhtar Donetsk last time out in the Champions League, despite being down to 10 men, gave Guardiola a newfound admiration for their play.

    "Hoffenheim against Shakhtar was one of the most incredible games I watched as a spectator in the last years," Guardiola added, having studied a recording of the match this week.

    "They were incredible how they created, how they did it – even with 10 players for 30 minutes, and they lost!

    "It was fascinating watching that game. My admiration and point of view of Hoffenheim has increased. I know about Julian Nagelsmann and his team and I realise how tough it will be."

  • Raheem is an incredible human being - Guardiola rallies behind City star Sterling Raheem is an incredible human being - Guardiola rallies behind City star Sterling

    Pep Guardiola has hailed Raheem Sterling as an "incredible person" after the Manchester City and England winger spoke out amid allegations he was subjected to racist abuse.

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