Man City turned down chance to sign Dzeko as Guardiola says he is happy with squad

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Manchester City turned down the chance to sign Edin Dzeko in the January transfer window, with head coach Pep Guardiola insisting he is happy with the shape of his squad.

The Bosnian striker is set to leave Roma after a breakdown in his relationship with manager Paulo Fonesca and could be involved in a swap deal for Inter’s Alexis Sanchez.

The 34-year-old spent five seasons at the Etihad Stadium, winning the Premier League twice, but City ruled out bringing in a new striker despite injury and illness problems hitting Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus.

Sources have confirmed to Goal that City were offered the chance to sign the veteran forward, but the club turned down the chance for a reunion at the Etihad.

Guardiola declined to speak about Dzeko, but said he was happy with the number of goals in his side, particularly after their 5-0 victory over West Brom in midweek.

But he suggested that Eric Garcia's potential switch to Barcelona is the only likely movement before the transfer window shuts on Monday.

“I don't talk about the transfer market here - he's a Roma player and I will never discuss this kind of situation,” he said ahead of Saturday’s clash with bottom-of-the-table Sheffield United.

“My feeling is that we will finish the season with everyone that we started the season with, except maybe one player that everyone knows may be moving. I don't think anything else will happen. We will see in the final few days.

“Our goal difference is the best in the league right now. If our game is good, we will score goals. if our game is not good, we will not score goals. 

“I never put pressure on Sergio and Gabriel to solve all the problems we have up front. The reason why we score goals and win games is because our game itself is better, nothing more secret.”

City have been playing with a false nine of late, with Ilkay Gundogan taking up the role in recent weeks. 

The Germany international scored twice against West Brom to take his tally to seven goals in his last 10 appearances.

“The quality of his finishing we have always seen,” Guardiola said of Gundogan. “As a holding midfielder the distance to get to the box was difficult but he has a special sense of finishing. 

“There are players who are in front of the keeper and could take a coffee and still have time to finish and the others get nervous. It is a quality in itself.

"The last two goals in the game against West Brom explain perfectly the quality because it shows how quickly he moves and the quality of the shot. It is not easy to find that.”

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Aguero will miss the game against Sheffield United as he recovers from Covid-19 but Guardiola has insisted that playing with a false nine is not a permanent option.

“There are games I need a striker and other games I prefer to play without a proper one, but whether you play with a striker or not you have to have six, seven players arrive to the box,” he added. 

“It is another way to read the game. Sometimes I need one, sometimes two, sometimes I need a striker to drop to play with the midfield players - it depends on the opponents and the skills of my players. It is what I feel. Some games I need it, some games I don’t.”