Guardiola Eases Fears Over Aguero Future & Offers Man City Lifeline to Defensive Outcast

Saturday September 9th, 2017

Pep Guardiola has scoffed at the latest round of rumours that Sergio Aguero's Manchester City future is in peril after he was dropped for the clash with Bournemouth.

The Argentina international wasn't selected as part of Guardiola's starting lineup for the last-gasp 2-1 victory over the Cherries two weeks ago, and led to gossip columns querying if Aguero's time at City was in doubt.

Guardiola, however, was quoted in the Daily Mail as he dismissed any notion of the striker leaving the Etihad before explaining his decision behind leaving Aguero out of his first choice XI.

GLYN KIRK/GettyImages

He stated: "I've said many times, he's going to play a lot of games but sometimes he's not going to play.

"I know it's something special for a player who's never been rotated and has always played with the previous managers, but in my case he's going to play like last season - a lot of games. I think he played, when fit, maybe 90 per cent of the games, especially in the important games.

"Maybe one day we decide we'll only play with one striker and sometimes with Gabriel (Jesus), and sometimes with two. Sometimes we'll play with neither. Maybe Sergio and Gabriel won't play and we'll play a false nine. It depends on my 'silly' decisions."

The Citizens boss and his squad welcome Liverpool to Manchester for Saturday's early Premier League match, but the home side will have to do without key defender Vincent Kompany for the crunch clash.

The Belgium captain injured his calf during his national side's 9-0 thrashing of Gibraltar during the international break and, with City unable to bring in a new centre-half during the transfer window, Guardiola confirmed that oucast Eliaquim Mangala would be given another chance to revive his career.

Speaking out about the problem Kompany sustained with the Red Devils, Guardiola admitted there was nothing he could do about it before revealing that Mangala would be brought in out of the cold.

He added: "You never know when it's going to happen. It could happen here in a training session. I'm not a guy to call national managers and tell them what to do.

"He (Mangala) is a real central defender and we are going to help him a little bit with the weakness in the build-up, to help him improve. I told him he is part of the group and he has to win my confidence on the pitch."

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide — from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Grant Wahl, Andy Staples and more — delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.