Manchester City's Spanish manager Pep Guardiola
Manchester City's Spanish manager Pep Guardiola
Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola confirmed that midfielder Bruno Fernandes was not a target for the club before the Portuguese joined rivals Manchester United.

"I think the club was not in talks with his agent about this player, but they link this guy and a thousand million more," quoted Guardiola as saying.

The 25-year-old has scored three goals and provided two assists in his seven appearances, helping Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's team extend their unbeaten run to nine games in all competitions.

The City boss said he do not think much about players as he likes to buy players which he likes.

"I don't believe too much that these players are perfect for this team and manager. But I think he is an exceptional player and that is why Man United bought him," Guardiola said.

"I don't know what it means 'my type of player'. I like defenders too and good headers," he added.

Since the Alex Ferguson era ended in 2013, United have struggled to find players with the personality and presence to cope with the pressure of trying to emulate those golden days.

But the influential Fernandes already appears a perfect fit.

He has shown no signs of being intimidated by the task of becoming United's leading man.

Said to be a vocal presence in training sessions, Fernandes displayed his leadership qualities with several animated discussions with Diogo Dalot, Scott McTominay and Fred during Thursday's FA Cup fifth-round win at Derby.

"I like to see that in a player, he doesn't change coming into a new team. He's the same as he was at Sporting," Solskjaer said.

"That's a boy with confidence, with quality, good form and that's his personality.

Everyone should be themselves. He's come in as a leader and he's shown he's a leader."

United reportedly balked at Sporting's summer asking price for Fernandes, but the fee they paid in the January window is already looking a bargain.

City will travel to Old Trafford to face Manchester United in Premier League clash on March 8.

(with inputs from agencies)

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal