Pep Guardiola has dismissed the possibility of Jadon Sancho returning to Manchester City this summer.
Sancho, the City Academy graduate who left the club for Borussia Dortmund at the age of 17 three years ago, is now regarded as one of Europe’s hottest properties.
The attacking midfielder, now a full England international, has been heavily linked with a move to Manchester United but City were also thought to be a potential destination for the Londoner.
With Leroy Sane poised to join Bayern Munich there could even have been extra reason for Guardiola to seek a player with Sancho’s attributes but the City boss appears to have little interest.
Guardiola said: “No, no, no. He decided to leave. Why should he decide to come back?
“We wanted him to stay like Eric Garcia and Phil (Foden) but he decided like Leroy now and myself, when I decided to move to other countries to be a manager, to move.
“When he decided to move to Dortmund it’s not because he is going to decide to come back one year later. It would make no sense. He didn’t want to be here, so that is why I think he doesn’t want to come back here.”
Guardiola accepts, however, that some elements of his team do need to be rebuilt.
After winning the Premier League for the past two years and a domestic treble last season, City have handed over the title to Liverpool this term.
City failed to replace Vincent Kompany last summer and another veteran performer in David Silva will leave at the end of the current campaign.
Guardiola said: “It’s part of the process. We’d like to stay with the players who gave us what they did for the last decade, those of the last 10 years to be eternal, but we grow in years and sometimes we have to do it and replace them with new players.
“For the absence of Vinny, David – and Fernandinho and Sergio (Aguero) have one year left, and I don’t know if they will extend or not – some players have to be replaced.
“But it’s not a disaster thing, or bad thing, it’s part of football for the age, for the normal situation and circumstances.”
City host newly-crowned champions Liverpool at the Etihad Stadium on Thursday. The Reds, who secured the title last week, have a 23-point advantage over City as they head to Manchester.
Their success is down, in a large part, to the impact of their manager Jurgen Klopp, under whom City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan won a Bundesliga title at Dortmund.
Gundogan said: “I feel privileged to have worked with Jurgen but also to be with Pep now. I am grateful and thankful for both, because they taught me so much.
“I don’t think there is any player who has had the opportunity to work with both so I feel lucky.”
Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Get the best features, fun and footballing frolics straight to your inbox every week.
Thank you for signing up to Four Four Two. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.