Manchester City’s World Cup stars coming back early: Pep Guardiola

MIAMI — Manchester City’s World Cup players will cut short their holidays to return to preseason training, Pep Guardiola has announced.
City had seven players who played in the last weekend of Russia 2018, either in the final or third-place playoff, but they were not due back until the day after their Community Shield clash with Chelsea on Aug. 5.
France’s World Cup winner Benjamin Mendy already has joined up with the first team in Miami ahead of the International Champions Cup game against Bayern Munich, while Guardiola says the majority of Belgium and England players will be in Manchester on Monday.
“Most of them are coming back,” Guardiola told a news conference. “We have just four or five days to prepare for the first final so we have to adapt. Some of them are coming back before, some are coming back after the final.
“We need players for the final, but if they are not coming back, we’ll play with the guys who are here. It is not an ideal situation. We prefer to be together, but it is the same for [Bayern boss] Niko Kovac or for the other managers — the calendar is the calendar, so we have to adapt.
“We have made one preseason and now we need another preseason before the start of the season. I would prefer for them to come back as soon as possible, but it is not possible.”
Mendy may not be risked for the clash after only taking part in his first training sessions on Friday, while Brazilian midfielder Fernandinho is back in contention after recovering from a knee problem.
Guardiola will face his former club Bayern for the first time since he left in 2016 after winning three successive Bundesliga titles.
“I have a lot of friends at Bayern,” he said. “It was a brilliant experience for me and my family. I am looking forward to seeing a lot of my friends tomorrow.
“I am pretty sure they are going to have a good season. [Nico] knows the club … the mentality … I’m happy they’ve had success. Hopefully, we will meet in the Champions League.”
With just two weeks of the transfer window remaining, Guardiola also said they could still make one more signing before the window closes.
“If we sign a player, we sign only one more — maybe we’ll stay with what we stay,” he said.”Transfers are so expensive and we spent a lot last year. We’re going to carry on with the same guys and maybe one comes, maybe not. I don’t know.”