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Man City unlikely to replace injured Laporte in January – Guardiola

Omnisport
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175   //    14 Sep 2019, 03:02 IST
Laporte - cropped
Manchester City will not sign a replacement for Aymeric Laporte in January

Aymeric Laporte's long-term knee injury has hurt Manchester City, Pep Guardiola has conceded, but he does not expect the club to sign a replacement in January.

Guardiola confirmed on Friday that Laporte would be out for up to six months after he damaged cartilage and the lateral meniscus in his right knee during City's 4-0 win against Brighton and Hove Albion on August 31.

The centre-back, who received a long-awaited France call-up prior to his injury, has undergone surgery but like team-mate Leroy Sane is now set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

John Stones – who has not featured since the opening fixture – and Nicolas Otamendi are now City's only fit senior centre-backs, with midfielder Fernandinho seemingly set to provide a third option.

But despite City's lack of depth at the heart of their defence, Guardiola does not foresee the club pursuing a January signing.

"It is hard, the same as Leroy. We are disappointed for him, for both of them," Guardiola told a news conference ahead of Saturday's game against Norwich City.

"Leroy is important. Aymeric in that position is important too, for his left foot and his personality. Unfortunately he is injured. So we're going to live without him for a long time and we have enough resources to move forward and see what we can do.

"My advice to you is not to write too many names about the winter transfer window, because you are going to make a mistake. I don't think it's going to happen.

"I heard already we are interested in this player or the other player. I would like to say to all the clubs in the world don't be nervous, because we are not interested in any players or central defenders in Europe.

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"We are going to wait with the players we have, with the two central defenders, with Fernandinho, with Eric Garcia and Taylor Harwood-Bellis, even some players in different positions we can use there. We're going to move forward."

Stones was not in England's latest squad as he continued his comeback from a thigh strain, while the 25-year-old was sidelined as Vincent Kompany was preferred as Laporte's partner in last term's run-in.

Guardiola, though, has no doubt in Stones' ability to fill the void left by Laporte.

"He's going to play incredible this period, while Laporte is not with us. He is going to play well. I don't have any doubts about his quality," Guardiola added of Stones.

"The same case with Otamendi. I don't know how many games they play together but I think a lot. Before Aymeric came they were a partnership and they played many games."

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