Manchester - Pep Guardiola says Manchester City will not be
making any signings in January, effectively ruling out buying a short-term
replacement for the injured Benjamin Mendy.
Guardiola believes his squad is strong enough to get through
to the end of the season, despite the injury absences of Mendy, Kevin De
Bruyne, Bernardo Silva and back-up goalkeeper Claudio Bravo.
Belgian playmaker De Bruyne and Portuguese midfielder Silva
are likely to be available for the Premier League leaders within the next 10
days but Mendy will be out for up to 12 weeks after having surgery on meniscus
damage in his left knee.
Asked whether he might be tempted to sign a replacement for
Mendy in January, Guardiola said: "No. We are not going to spend anything
(in January). I am so happy with the squad, people are coming back, so
Guardiola's comments also signal that any move for Ajax
midfielder Frenkie de Jong will wait until the end of the season.
De Jong, who has been heavily linked with a move to the
Etihad Stadium, is understood to be the leading long-term candidate to replace
Fernandinho in the City midfield.
Fernandinho, 33, has started all 12 of City's Premier League
matches this season, with Guardiola describing him as "exceptional".
The manager, however, has acknowledged that he will have to
rest the Brazilian during a frantic December that presents City with nine
matches across three competitions.
Fernandinho has been given extra time to rest during the
latest international break as he was not selected by Brazil. David Silva, who
has retired from duty with Spain, and Sergio Aguero, omitted by Argentina, also
had time off.
Guardiola said: "He will need a rest, definitely. Now
he is not with the national team, he, David, and Sergio have had eight days
off. That is a good recovery from four, five, six games in a row."
The manager is certain that, even if he needs to use
Fernandinho sparingly over the coming months, he has no need to sign any more
players this season.
"When we created the squad at the beginning of the
season, it was not to go to the January (window) unless we have problems.
"But I have a deep squad and a lot of players cannot
play even though I trust them a lot. They believe I don't like them but that is
Guardiola has hinted he could be willing to extend his stay
at City beyond the end of his contract in 2021, despite suggesting earlier in
the week that he had a long-term interest in international management.
He said: "I have a young squad, good facilities - I
have everything. I have protection, my family is doing well in Manchester.
"I don't rule anything out in terms of my contract. We
will see. This is day by day. In two months, football can change every
impression you have right now.
"You can lose the locker room, you can see the players
don't follow you anymore and make bad decisions. It's going well and I'll maybe
stay longer. I don't know."