Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has denied news of a reported rift with Sergio Aguero and Vincent Kompany who didn’t make the starting line-up for Wednesday’s 4-0 defeat to Barcelona.
“Out of my plans? I think I took a decision about my plans, and my plans are that Sergio and Vincent Kompany are part of the future of Manchester City.
“Kompany was not fit. Agüero was a tactical decision, we wanted more in the middle. I try to keep the ball in Camp Nou because I believe when you have the ball, [Lionel] Messi, [Luis] Suárez and Neymar don’t have it and they are still dangerous, but less dangerous.
“I spoke to Sergio about that, he was so understanding. He helped us a lot in the last minutes. That was the reason why.
“When Sergio decides to leave City it will be his decision. Next time you write this, that he is not in my plans, you can call me or Simon [Heggie, City press officer] – you may not have my number but you can call Simon – and we can explain what is the truth,” Guardiola said on Friday during his press conference ahead of the Premier League clash against Southampton.
“I have never trained with Kompany in the past. What I have seen when he is fit is that he is a real centre defender. I like him. ”
Guardiola has backed his side to return to winning ways once again when they face Southamptom on Sunday at the Etihad Stadium.
The Citizens are without a win in their last four games in all competitions.
They head into the game in deflated mood after the 4-0 trouncing they suffered at the hands of Barcelona in the Champions League in midweek.
Southampton too narrowly lost 1-0 against Inter Milan on Thursday but dominated the game for long spells.
Guardiola also admitted it will be tough coming up against the Saints who defeated Burnley 3-1 in their last Premier League fixture.
“I watched the Inter game. Southampton played amazing, much better than Inter, Inter shot once and won,” he added.
“I was impressed, it will be tough but of course we need to win.”