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Pep Guardiola Confirms Transfer Status of Star Striker Amid Growing Interest From Several Clubs

Manchester City striker Liam Delap will stay at the Etihad Stadium this season and train with the first team "if a striker comes or doesn't come", claims manager Pep Guardiola when speaking to the media recently.

18-year-old Liam Delap - son of former Premier League footballer Rory - joined Manchester City's youth academy set-up from Derby County in 2019, and last season set the record for most goals in a Premier League 2 campaign with 24, as well as scoring on his senior debut against Bournemouth in the Carabao Cup.

Despite having signed a new contract extension keeping him at the club until 2026 just last week, it was widely expected that the young Englishman would spend this campaign on loan, with a number of Championship clubs said to be vying for his signature. 

The likes of AFC Bournemouth, Stoke City, Cardiff City, Middlesbrough, and Derby County have all been linked with a loan interest in the teenager in recent weeks, and some Manchester City supporters believed a move to the second tier of English football could be majorly beneficial for his development.

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However, Pep Guardiola has ruled out the prospect of Liam Delap moving this summer saying, "Liam Delap for me, for the club, is so important for the future. He is going to train with us, if a striker comes or doesn’t come. He will train with us all season."

"Him, Cole Palmer, James McAtee, Luke Mbete, Romeo Lavia. There are five or six guys who will be with us all season. The same process we have done with Tommy Doyle."

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Liam Delap has missed out on the start of this season due to injury, but with current first team options in the striker role limited to Ferran Torres and Gabriel Jesus, the hitman will fancy his chances of some first team action at the Etihad Stadium this season.

However, Manchester City are maintaining their pursuit of Harry Kane this summer, and are expected to make one final approach for the England captain this week as they seek to break down the resolve of Spurs chairman Daniel Levy.

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