Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola revealed he is disappointed with the absence of key players for their pre-season tour in the USA. The squad is preparing to take one Club America before facing Bayern Munich on Sunday. Phil Foden, John Stones, and Ilkay Gundogan did not travel as they could not meet the US entry requirements of being fully vaccinated.
“The second season here [2017/18], when we finished with 100 points, that was the only pre-season when we were all together from day one. Since then it’s always four players arrive, then after a few weeks some other ones and we start the season with incredible problems,” Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola said. “That’s why we drop every season, in the beginning, many, many points. This season I thought, ‘maybe we will be altogether’, but due to personal situations with these three players, and other situations with some other ones, we cannot be together. We are delayed but it is what it is. We are going to move forward and today you have to adapt.”
“Before, every pre-season was three, four, five weeks altogether. Now it’s over, with the World Cup, Euro cup [European Championships] – many competitions. The players need rest after a tough, tough season. But they are fit, they are training with the U23s in Croatia, and when they come back they will be fine,” he added. “Neymar is an incredible player and, with the information I have, an incredibly nice guy. So leave him calm, let him express the huge talent he has in Paris alongside [Lionel] Messi and all the big stars they have. But I would say Manchester City every season bought 150 players. It looks like we are interested in all players around the world. You know that is not true. I’m sorry for Neymar, of course!”