Pep Guardiola confirms Manchester City's interest in Everton defender John Stones and reveals former Arsenal midfielder Samir Nasri's absence is down to his weight

Ross McLean
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Manchester City Pre-game Training & Press Conference
Guardiola claimed his first victory as City boss in a Friendly against Dortmund (Source: Getty)

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has confirmed his interest in swelling the club’s defensive ranks with the signing of England centre-half John Stones from Premier League rivals Everton.

While a deal is yet to be agreed, it is believed that City have opened talks with Everton over the 22-year-old defender, a player the Toffees value at around £50m in the current market.

“Everyone knows we are going to try but we will see what happens,” said Guardiola, who also reiterated his desire to buy Schalke forward Leroy Sane.

“Sane is a player from Schalke. If he comes, we’ll be happy. If he stays, I’ll be happy for Schalke fans.”

Guardiola also confirmed that former Arsenal midfielder Samir Nasri has been absent from City’s pre-season programme due to his weight. Full-back Gael Clichy confirmed earlier this week that some players had been jettisoned from first-team training due to concerns over their fitness levels.

“He [Nasri] arrived a little bit overweight,” added Guardiola. “We want their weight to be in the right place where they can run for 90 minutes like Fernandinho and [Aleksandar] Kolarov. Hopefully in the next two weeks, he will be okay.”

Guardiola recorded his first win as City manager after his side defeated German outfit Borussia Dortmund 6-5 on penalties in the International Champions Cup.

Rookie Angus Gunn saved Dortmund midfielder Mikel Merino’s spot-kick to hand City victory after Christian Pulisic had cancelled out Sergio Aguero’s opener in stoppage time.

Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas was shown a straight red card during his side’s friendly victory over Liverpool in the United States. Defender Gary Cahill headed the only goal of the game on 10 minutes.

Fabregas was sent off with 20 minutes remaining following a late challenge on new Reds signing Ragnar Klavan.

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte said: “I think that fatigue sometimes can bring a player to go too late. I know Fabregas is a good man, a good boy and is not a player to have this type of situation. I’m sorry for him.”