MX23RW : Saturday, November 28 19:54:12| >> :120:24796:24796:

Pep Guardiola jokes "maybe Mourinho is a doctor" regarding Sterling fitness

Pep Guardiola jokes
© Reuters
The Manchester City boss was responding to the Portuguese's claims about Raheem Sterling's fitness.

Pep Guardiola has dismissed suggestions from rival Jose Mourinho that Manchester City might have influenced Raheem Sterling's withdrawal from the England squad this week.

England forward Sterling was released from Gareth Southgate's squad ahead of Wednesday's clash against Iceland to return to City due to a calf injury.

Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho has complained that Southgate has too readily listened to the concerns of certain club managers, and called on the England chief to identify those he has spoken to.

Mourinho, speaking at a press conference on Friday, then pointedly added "we all know Sterling will play" as City face his Spurs side in the Premier League on Saturday.

City manager Guardiola has denied there was anything untoward in Sterling's withdrawal and insists medics would confirm that if necessary.

Pep Guardiola File Photo
Pep Guardiola says Raheem Sterling has been struggling for fitness (Martin Rickett/PA)

He said: "Mourinho has to speak to the doctor for the national team of England and the doctor for Manchester City. Except maybe Mourinho is a doctor, I don't know."

Guardiola, speaking at his pre-match press conference, refused to be drawn into a war of words with Mourinho.

The pair had a bitter and fierce rivalry when they respectively managed Barcelona and Real Madrid but were at least more cordial when Mourinho was in charge of City's neighbours Manchester United.

And it was clear Guardiola did not want to reignite tensions now when he was asked about recent comments from Mourinho that City players go to ground too easily.

"Listen, I'm not going to answer anything about Jose," said the Spaniard. "I said the doctor because he accused us of something we have done that is not true.

"You have to speak to the doctors about these other things, don't ask me.

"I'm almost 50. I'm old enough to understand..."

Guardiola, who has won six major trophies including two Premier League titles in four years at City, this week signed a new contract committing him to the club until 2023.

The new deal has immediately sparked speculation linking City with Lionel Messi, with whom they were heavily linked during the Argentinian's contract stand-off with Barcelona last summer.

But Guardiola, who won the Champions League twice with a Barca side containing Messi, said: "Lionel Messi is a Barcelona player. I want him to finish his career there. That is what I want. I said it a thousand times. As a Barcelona fan I want Leo to finish there."

Pep Guardiola and Lionel Messi File Photo
Pep Guardiola, pictured with Lionel Messi when the pair were at Barcelona in 2011 (Nick Potts/PA)

Yet whether or not City's future includes six-times world player of the year Messi, the club believe they are a far more attractive proposition with the inspirational Guardiola in charge.

Director of football Txiki Begiristain told City's official website: "We already have an unbelievable squad. We have a lot of top players.

"But the life of the squad is always changing. There are some players asking to leave, there are other players that want to come. There are players that think they want to play more than the other ones.

"So this is the natural life of a squad. So what is very, very good for the club and for my job is having Pep.

"It's quite easy to convince the players to come because Pep makes the players better. They can see an improvement and that is obvious and that helps to sign the players for Man City."

ID:423108:cQx

Click here for more stories about Pep Guardiola

Click here for more stories about Tottenham Hotspur

Share this article now:
Did you know...?
Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho pictured on November 8, 2020
Read Next:
Jose Mourinho takes swipe at England manager Gareth Southgate
>
Latest Sports Video
Sports Mole Logo
Enter your email address to subscribe to Sports Mole's free daily transfer newsletter! Sent twice a day during the transfer window.

rhs 2.0
Todays Game Header Right
Premier League
Championship
FA Cup
La Liga
Serie A
Bundesliga
Ligue 1
Eredivisie
Primeira Liga
League One
League Two
National League
National League North
National League South
Scottish League Cup
Scottish League One
Scottish League Two
Turkish Super Lig
Belgian Pro League
Greek Superleague
Swiss Super League
Russian Premier League
Ukrainian Premier League
Norwegian Eliteserien
Danish Superliga
NIFL Premiership
Welsh Premier League
Belarusian Premier League
Segunda Division
Serie B
2.Bundesliga
Ligue 2
Eerste Divisie
Brasileiro
Copa Diego Maradona
Uruguayan Primera Division
AFC Champions League
J1 League
Premier League 2 - Div 1
Autumn Nations Cup
Rugby Championship
Gallagher Premiership
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool106312217521
2Tottenham HotspurSpurs96212191220
3Chelsea953122101218
4Leicester CityLeicester96031812618
5Southampton95221713417
6Everton105141917216
7Aston Villa85031911815
8Manchester CityMan City94321511415
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham94231510514
10Wolverhampton WanderersWolves9423910-114
11Leeds UnitedLeeds104241517-214
12Newcastle UnitedNewcastle104241215-314
13Manchester UnitedMan Utd84131314-113
14Arsenal9414910-113
15Crystal Palace104151215-313
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton102441416-210
17Burnley9126417-135
18Fulham9117918-94
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom9036618-123
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd9018415-111

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!