Soccer

Pep Guardiola says Manchester City unlikely to sign striker in January transfer window

Pep Guardiola does not expect Manchester City to sign a new striker during the January transfer window.

Sergio Aguero has missed the majority of the season through injury, while Gabriel Jesus was absent for Saturday’s 1-0 win over Southampton, but Guardiola has played down the likelihood of signing another forward next month.

“No I don’t think so because the economic situation around world is what it is,” said Guardiola, speaking ahead of Tuesday night’s Carabao Cup quarter-final against Arsenal, live on Sky Sports.

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“All the clubs struggle – we are not an exception.”

Jesus missed the win at Southampton, which lifted City up to seventh in the Premier League table, after taking a knock to the face during training on Friday.

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Aguero, recently recovered from a knee problem, returned after illness as a substitute in last week’s home draw against West Brom but was an unused substitute at St Mary’s.



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City have scored only twice in their last three league games and Guardiola admitted it will be difficult to close the eight-point gap between his side and leaders Liverpool given their current form in front of goal.

“I don’t know,” he said. “We’re struggling, our momentum up front isn’t good.

“We are creating clear chances that we cannot score and when this happens we are always going to suffer.

“That’s why I’m not able to say how we will be this season. Game by game is the only thing I can do and now we go to London to play Arsenal in the Carabao Cup.”

Raheem Sterling turned home Kevin De Bruyne’s 16th-minute cross at Southampton, but City spurned several second-half chances.

“Our position is we’re trying to win games, to be up there as quick as possible and (to be) as close as possible to the top of the league,” Guardiola said.

“But the reality is that our momentum up front isn’t good. To close the game out, we couldn’t do it and that’s why we are continuing to struggle I think this season, until we break this situation to score goals.”

Defensively however, City have been tight, keeping seven clean sheets in their last eight games in all competitions and Guardiola paid tribute to defenders Ruben Dias and John Stones after Saturday’s victory.

“It’s incredible – that is how we can still be there, knocking on the door of teams above us,” he added. “We need it to be stable and maybe one day players will be fresh to score the goals.”

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