SHENZHEN, China (AP) — Manchester City players have been told not to eat junk food as new manager Pep Guardiola tries to turn the team into Premier League champions again.
"He cut out some juice and, of course, pizza," defender Gael Clichy was quoted as saying in British newspapers. "All the heavy food is not allowed."
While fans would expect such a strict diet to be the norm, Clichy said: "In truth, it's not always like this. I know because I've been playing football for a long time."
Guardiola did refute suggestions that overweight players have been banned from training.
"I want my players fit and for me the weight is so, so important," Guardiola said during the team's pre-season tour of China. "We need to run, we need to fight, we need to jump, we need to need the ball. And after three days again, then three days again, then three days again.
"When you are not fit and your weight is not proper, danger is coming. They are not fast enough, quick in the head enough and that's why I want my players to be absolutely fit."
City won the Premier League with Roberto Mancini in charge in 2012, and again two years later under Manuel Pellegrini, who left the club in May. Guardiola is preparing to coach in the Premier League for the first time, having won titles with Barcelona and Bayern Munich.
"If you can't follow the regime then you will fall short," City midfielder Fabian Delph said. "I have got massive opportunity for the season to progress through a lot of competitions. The only way you are going to do it is being by super fit."