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Guardiola set for Man City summer squad refresh

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola admitted his side could be set for an overhaul in the summer after falling 22 points behind Liverpool at the top of the Premier League.

Guardiola will definitely lose David Silva, who has already announced he will leave the club after a decade at the end of the season.

However, the Catalan coach does not believe he needs the same degree of change as after a difficult first season in Manchester when the arrival of six new players inspired a romp to the title with a record 100 points.

“This group of players has done something unique – they have won the last six of the last seven domestic trophies in England. I admire them and I suffer with them when they don’t get what they deserve,” said Guardiola.

“Of course we have to do something because David Silva is leaving and in some other positions we are going to do it, but I don’t know how many or how much because the market is always difficult.

“There are still are two or three months to go and things can change a lot in that time.”

City could still turn a hitherto disappointing campaign into a glorious one as they face Aston Villa in the League Cup final in three weeks’ time, have progressed into the fifth round of the FA Cup and are preparing for a blockbuster Champions League last 16 clash with Real Madrid.

“There are still incredible nice things still to fight for,” added Guardiola.

“We are in the EFL Cup final in three weeks, we are still in the FA Cup, we want to try and finish second in the league and we have two big games against Real Madrid in the Champions League.”

One of those who could be sacrificed by City to make room and resources for summer signings is John Stones.

The England international has been scarcely used by Guardiola this season despite a lack of cover at centre-back due to the departure of Vincent Kompany and injury to Aymeric Laporte.

Stones could easily miss out on a place in Gareth Southgate’s squad for Euro 2020 due to his lack of match practice, but Guardiola insisted his priority has to be doing what is best for City.

“He has good points and some have to improve. It is simple, he is a still a young central defender,” said Guardiola.

“I have to think about every game and make decisions about tomorrow and day after day, not for the future.

“Of course, John, like everyone, has a chance to play more games in the rest of the season, but I have to decide whether to choose them.

“They have to play here as best as possible then after that go to the national team.”

© Agence France-Presse

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