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Guardiola fends off Kane transfer talk ahead of Spurs clash

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 13 Aug 2021

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Pep Guardiola refused to be drawn on a potential move for Harry Kane ahead of Manchester City’s Premier League opener at Tottenham on Sunday.

Guardiola last week confirmed City would be “very interested” in signing the “exceptional, extraordinary” Kane.

The England captain disputed suggestions he did not report for pre-season training last week, but has now reported for duty and Spurs boss Nuno Espirito Santo on Friday revealed he has had talks with the prolific striker.

Nuno stated that a decision had not yet been made over whether Kane will face City at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Guardiola was not interested in discussing a move for Kane when he faced the media two days before the champions take on Spurs in the capital.

The City manager said: “I answered this last time. He’s a player for Tottenham. I made an exception last time – usually I don’t talk about transfers because it is not my business. That’s all.”

Guardiola also dismissed talk of going through a second successive season without a recognised number nine.

He said: “I would say we play with recognised strikers. Sergio [Aguero] was injured [last season] and played a few games. Always when Sergio was fit he was an important part of the team.

“He was incredibly recognised by me. He was a proper striker and Gabriel [Jesus] is a proper striker.”

Guardiola added of Jesus: “Always his mind was in the right place. Gabriel is an incredible, important player for us, can play as a striker or wider. He had an incredibly key role in these many years of success in every season.”

The Spaniard revealed Kevin De Bruyne has not returned to full training but is making progress in his recovery from an ankle injury.

Guardiola said: “He is getting better [De Bruyne]. Every day he is getting better. But we are still waiting. He can’t do a full training session. Some with us, some alone. We will see in the next few days.”

Jack Grealish is also building up his fitness after City’s new British record £100million took a break following Euro 2020.

“Every player needs time to get his best,” Guardiola said of Grealish. “Yesterday was the first day we were altogether, except Phil [Foden] because he is injured – but he was in the locker room with us.

City have lost their last three away games against Tottenham in all competitions, with Guardiola never having lost four away games in a row against a single club in his managerial career.

Champions City have won their first league match of the season in each of their past 10 top-flight campaigns.

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