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Pep Guardiola: 'Manchester City struggling to find Fernandinho replacement'

By , Senior Reporter | 2mo
Pep Guardiola says that it is proving difficult finding a player to provide back-up for Fernandinho, who he believes can operate in central defence more frequently.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has admitted that "it is not easy" to find a replacement midfielder for Fernandinho.

The Brazil international has started 30 matches for the Citizens this term, 24 of those in the Premier League, and his absence was felt when sitting out the defeats to Leicester City and Crystal Palace in December.

Guardiola has been seeking a back-up option over the past year, but the Catalan has missed out on top targets Jorginho, Frenkie de Jong and Fred.

Lyon ace Tanguy Ndombele is reportedly the next name on City's list, though Guardiola says that it is difficult finding the right player.

"We have some options but today it is not easy to find and buy the players," he is quoted as saying by Goal.com. "We have spoken many times about that. We are trying to help Fernandinho in that position.

"It's not close. But the transfer window is over, until the summer we have time. No problem. Always I am optimistic."

Guardiola fielded Fernandinho in central defence for the 3-1 win over Arsenal last weekend - a position in which the former Barcelona boss can see the 33-year-old operating more frequently in the future.

"I am pretty sure he can play in that position," Guardiola added. "He's fast, he's strong in the air and when he has the football in front of him he sees the passes inside, his switch of play is excellent.

"He is intelligent to [know when to] go forwards and go backwards, he understands everything. He has to train more at it, but I think he can do it. But of course, his position is a midfield player."

Fernandinho joined City from Shakhtar Donetsk in a £34m transfer five-and-a-half years ago.



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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City34282487226586
2Liverpool34267177205785
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs342211164352967
4Arsenal33206766402666
5Chelsea34206857362166
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd33197763441964
7Watford34147134949049
8Leicester CityLeicester35146154847148
9Wolverhampton WanderersWolves34139124142-148
10Everton34137144644246
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham35127164454-1043
12Newcastle UnitedNewcastle35118163544-941
13Bournemouth35125184962-1341
14Crystal Palace34116174046-639
15Burnley34116174260-1839
16Southampton3499164057-1736
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton3497183253-2134
18Cardiff CityCardiff3494213063-3331
RFulham3565243376-4323
RHuddersfield TownHuddersfield3535272069-4914
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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City34282487226586
2Liverpool34267177205785
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs342211164352967
4Arsenal33206766402666
5Chelsea34206857362166
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd33197763441964
7Watford34147134949049
8Leicester CityLeicester35146154847148
9Wolverhampton WanderersWolves34139124142-148
10Everton34137144644246
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham35127164454-1043
12Newcastle UnitedNewcastle35118163544-941
13Bournemouth35125184962-1341
14Crystal Palace34116174046-639
15Burnley34116174260-1839
16Southampton3499164057-1736
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton3497183253-2134
18Cardiff CityCardiff3494213063-3331
RFulham3565243376-4323
RHuddersfield TownHuddersfield3535272069-4914
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