Pep Guardiola has revealed that Manchester City will not sign a new striker in January despite the sale of Ferran Torres to Barcelona.
The Spain forward is set to join Guardiola’s former club when the transfer window opens next month after the Premier League champions accepted a £46.7million offer from the Catalan giants.
Torres was signed primarily as a winger but has often operated as a centre forward with the club short of natural striking options.
City failed in their attempts to sign Harry Kane from Tottenham last summer but have no immediate plans to look elsewhere for a striker.
“No, we’re not going to bring in any striker in January,” said manager Guardiola at a press conference when asked if this could now be a possibility.
The Man City manager said he was not even disappointed that Torres wanted to leave, accepting that the lure of Barcelona was something the 21-year-old probably could not resist.
He said: “I know they are negotiating and I think it is close. When the club announces it, it will be done.
“I want the happiness of my players. If we had just two or three attacking players then maybe Ferran would think he had more chance to play and stay longer.
— Manchester City (@ManCity) December 23, 2021
“But always I have the feeling that when Barcelona or Real Madrid knock on the door of players then it is difficult to say no.
“They are still the strongest teams in the world in terms of fashion, cities and many reasons. He is from Spain, Barcelona knock and I understand why he wants to leave.
“I cannot convince the players to do something when their mind isn’t here. It makes no sense. Other clubs make them stay, I don’t agree with that.”
Guardiola also commented on player welfare, saying players and managers may be forced into going on strike to force the Premier League to take notice.
Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson said this week that not enough is being done to protect footballers amid rising coronavirus cases, game postponements and fixture congestion.
Two Boxing Day fixtures have already been cancelled due to coronavirus and Guardiola believes there may need to be direct action to force the hands of the powers that be.
Guardiola said: “It should be the players and managers all together making a strike. With words alone it’s not going to be solved.
“The welfare of the players should be the most important thing, but when we talk about the welfare of the players, it’s the only country that has just three subs, not five.
Guardiola doesn’t believe it will come to clubs actually going on strike: “No, I don’t think so, because we want to play. We love to do that.”
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