Pep Guardiola ready to lean on Sergio Aguero amid busy period

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Premier League and Champions League rules limit clubs to 25 senior players in their squads, although that number can be bulked out with young players aged 21 and under.

But that would leave him short on options out wide, forcing him to go back in with a £30m bid for Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez instead of waiting until the summer.

Guardiola has been linked with a move for Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez - a player who has reportedly caused a rift in the Gunners' dressing room - and, asked if the atmosphere at the Etihad could be upset by a new arrival, Guardiola told a news conference ahead of the FA Cup clash with Burnley: "If that player is nice then there is no risk".

Aguero's form has been patchy, by his own standards, this season but he has still scored five goals in his last seven games and 16 overall for the season.

The Manchester City manager believes it is far too early in the season to be talking about the quadruple.

City simply can not afford to lose Aguero now and Guardiola will try to give the Argentine a break where possible to protect him from the extra workload.

"Of course we are going to speak every day with him after the games and before the games about how he feels, because of course, when you have every three or four days some games, some minutes you are going to rest".

"I am not saying you have to change the wonderful thing that you play on Boxing Day and the people can watch at home all around the world - but you cannot play a tough game at midday at Selhurst Park, come back, the people can celebrate New Year's Eve and then play two days later".

'So hopefully we can handle it until the end because, of course, we need the striker's goals'.

"Our success in a season is not just about strikers, but wingers and attacking midfielders".




"But of course our striker is our striker".

Jesus, substituted midway through the first half with a suspected knee injury, could be sidelined for up to two months.

If necessary, the likes of Raheem Sterling or Bernardo Silva could play up front, but not Kevin De Bruyne.

"I have until 2020, I think", he said after Tuesday's 3-1 defeat of Watford, in another suggestion that his contract situation is far from clear even to those in the know.

"We will need 32 players to play really well for four competitions and that is not going to happen in my squad, to have 34 players".

"I spoke with the CEO about many other issues, to know the players, to know the culture, and everything they do is for the benefit of the fans because we play for them". "Not like an out-and-out striker, but we have guys with the mentality to be around the box who can solve that problem". The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss has one more season remaining on his current deal.

He said: "I saw the schedule in my office the other day and I wanted to escape because it is awful".

However, he has always maintained that he will not make a definitive decision on his future until he enters the final year of his contract next season. It depends on if we win and if I deserve to extend my contract.

"That's still the same", he said.

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