Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has revealed that £60m record signing Riyad Mahrez is likely to play in the curtain raiser Community Shield against Chelsea on Sunday after overcoming an ankle injury suffered during pre-season.
"We will see", Guardiola is quoted as saying by Sky Sports.
"I think step by step we're getting closer", he told ESPN when asked if the Champions League is their top priority in 208-19.
Another London-based manager who expects one of his star players to stay is Chelsea's Maurizio Sarri. "If not we stay with the players we have". We saw in pre-season against Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund that he is at a good level. A lot depends on him and us. Everyone's trying to get better and work harder to stop us too and the way we play, our tactics.
Guardiola said he thought he had completed a deal for Jorginho before he moved to Stamford Bridge for £57m, and the 26-year-old could now line up against City at Wembley.
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"We want him to stay but he does not have a work permit yet so we will try to convince the federation to allow him to stay", the City manager said. Maybe it was a bit late to announce that but if you don't want to come, don't come. I have never met one striker who fights like he fights. "England is going to discover an exceptional holding midfielder".
Most of the players who were on duty at the World Cup have now returned to training but Raheem Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne are still on their post-Russia breaks.
"It's the Community Shield, the players know I'll prepare like it was the best final we have to play, so seriously, to try to know as much as possible about Chelsea, right now, and Hudson-Odoi, the new winger - he's so fast", Guardiola said.
Manchester City's Portuguese midfielder Bernardo Silva (C) celebrates with tammates scoring the opening goal during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England on March 4, 2018. "We were so close, we believed it was done, but at the last turn he decided on Chelsea, like Alexis [Sanchez] with United".