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Guardiola confirms Man City want 3-4 new players this summer as Mendy concerns grow

22:30 GMT 01/03/2019
Pep Guardiola Manchester City FA Cup 2019
The Premier League holders are known to be in the market for a left-back and midfielder but the manager says that may not be the end of their spending

Pep Guardiola says Manchester City are looking to strengthen three or four positions in this summer's transfer window, confirming that a new left-back is a possibility amid concerns over Benjamin Mendy's fitness.

City are also looking for a deep-lying midfielder and Goal understands they are also looking at a new centre-back and striker.

Guardiola has previously insisted that City's transfer business in 2017, when they signed five players, was a one-off given they had to release ageing players at the end of their contracts and bring in younger replacements.

City only planned to bring in two signings last summer to reinforce the wide positions and the back of midfield, but they are now looking at several areas.

Goal understands that Leicester's Ben Chilwell is an option at left-back, and Goal revealed this week that City are also keeping an eye on Frankfurt striker Luka Jovic. Ajax centre-back Matthijs De Ligt is a long-term target, too, despite plans to offer Vincent Kompany a new contract.

City are being investigated by Fifa over the signing of overseas young players, the same potential offence that landed Chelsea with a two-window transfer ban.

That may factor in City's thinking when it comes to multiple signings, although their intention to sign a left-back, centre-back and midfielder is long-standing.

Guardiola was asked whether Oleksandr Zinchenko's improved form of late has changed his mind regarding the left-back position, but he instead revealed that Mendy's injury history is such that City have to plan in the event he misses much of next season, too.

"I don’t know what’s going to happen but we are thinking about the chance to find somebody in that position, but I don’t know," he said at his pre-match press conference. "There are three or four positions I think we have to try to look for and we have some ideas. I don’t know in the end what is going to happen but it is an option, yeah, to buy a left-back."

Mendy, who missed most of his first season at City, has played less than a half an hour of football since undergoing fresh knee surgery in November. Despite returning to the bench against West Ham on Wednesday night he was not fit enough to play, and is unlikely to feature at Bournemouth on Saturday.

“Today, he’s not fit," Guardiola said. "It’s not about English football, it’s the fact that he’s not able to play, he injured during two seasons.

Asked if he was concerned, the Catalan added: "Yeah, yeah yeah. If it happens in two seasons it can happen three, yeah definitely. Hopefully not, we’ll work with that, he’s working with that, but the truth is we could use him in few games.

"That is the reality. At the end the strongest guys, every day are there. That is the truth. That’s why we are looking for, maybe, you know [a left-back] for next season.”

Guardiola also said that Kompany's injury record will not be the overriding factor when it comes to negotiating a new contract.

The City captain's deal expires at the end of the season and while he has missed large swathes of the past four seasons with a number of different muscle injuries, Goal understands he is set to sign a one-year contract extension.

“No I don’t think so," Guardiola said when asked if the Belgian must prove his fitness. "For example the last month he’s fit, but he was six months injured like in the last three or four years, it happened every season the same.

"I think that will not be the reason why for Vincent staying one more year or two more years or not. I think that is not the reason why."