Pep Guardiola defends decision to sell Zinchenko, Sterling and Jesus

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By Martin Graham | 21st Aug 2022

Following the blistering start to life for former Manchester City players and the slow start of the defending champions in the 2022/23 season, Pep Guardiola has defended his decision to let his former players move on.

In the course of the ongoing transfer window, Manchester City have sold Gabriel Jesus, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Raheem Sterling. Jesus and Zinchenko have had a brilliant start to their lives outside Manchester City and Sterling has been one of the more consistent performers for Chelsea despite the Blues struggling in the league.

Sterling gave an interview recently where he laid bare his feelings about his departure from Manchester City where he established himself as a Three Lions key player and a modern Premier League legend.

The Londoner was scathing in his remarks towards his former club, saying: “Everyone wants to feel wanted, football is no different. When you play your heart out, sacrifice some of your kids’ birthdays, and then get treated in a certain way, it’s disappointing.

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“At the time I was fuming, raging. It was a shame to see how it ended in the end because I had such a great time there.”

Guardiola has admitted that these feelings led to him letting go of players he considered indispensable, while also admitting that he would not want to lose any more players this summer.

“If you force one person to stay when he doesn’t want to stay how can you get the best from him? It’s impossible,” the manager told Sky Sports ahead of City’s game at Newcastle on Sunday, which ended up in a 3-3 thrilling draw.

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“I wouldn’t want to move anyone on now. I love this squad I have. I feel comfortable training with them because after six, seven years we know each other incredibly well. In the bad moments I know how they react; they are incredible professionals.”

“I would love to stay all together but at the same time the transfer window ends in 10-15 days and if a player wants to leave then we will find a solution. Which one, I don’t know but we will find it.”

City could still lose Bernardo Silva as Barcelona holds an interest in the Portugal international, who is also open to the move. However, he has secured some great replacements for the departed players in Erling Haaland, Julian Alvarez and Kalvin Phillips.

They have picked up five points from their first three games of the new season so far.

Martin Graham is an MFF sports writer

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