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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 18 December 2018

'We are going to adapt to the rules': Pep Guardiola admits Fifa plan will change Manchester City's transfer policy

World governing body want to limit number of players clubs can loan to rivals

Pep Guardiola says new Fifa proposals could alter the way Manchester City loan out players. Reuters
Pep Guardiola says new Fifa proposals could alter the way Manchester City loan out players. Reuters

Fifa proposals designed to limit the number of players allowed to be loaned out to rival clubs will necessitate a radical rethink of Manchester City's business model says Pep Guardiola.

Along with Chelsea, City are the Premier League team most likely to be impacted by the proposals of world football's governing body to restrict teams to send between six and eight players to other clubs from 2020.

Currently Chelsea have 39 players, more than an entire first-team squad, on loan across Europe while City have 28 players, more than twice as many as any other Premier League club.

"We are going to adapt to the rules. The new rules are coming, we're going to see the situation about loan players and see what we can do," Guardiola told reporters ahead of Saturday's match at home to Bournemouth.

"The club is going to adapt if Fifa decide to do that. If we cannot loan them, they are going to come back here.

"If we don't believe they are going to play, if we cannot loan them we are going to sell them. It's simple.

"We're going to see before they take the players where they are going to play, and if it is not possible to loan them we are not going to buy them."

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If given the green light the new rules will come into effect in the summer of 2020, and could spark a raft of sales by the likes of City and Chelsea but also Wolves, who currently have 27 players out at other clubs.

City often use clubs under the City Football Group umbrella, such as Girona in Spain and Melbourne in Australia, to send out promising youngsters from the club's Under 23 and academy squads to gain first-team experience as well as clubs in England's lower divisions.

One example Guardiola highlighted is that of young Brazilian Douglas Luiz, who was unable to obtain a work permit to play in England for City and instead moved to Girona in La Liga, of how the new system may limit players' development.

"It's not good, for me," Guardiola said. "For the young players to come through the academy, the next step is the first team.

"Loan players are in good leagues, so to then come here to play [for academy teams] in front of 10 people is not good for their development.

"There's no way Luiz comes back here to the second team. He would have been with us to be an alternative for Fernandinho but we couldn't get a work permit.

"Now he's playing a lot of games for Girona and playing in the Camp Nou, in the Bernabeu. It would make no sense to come here to the second team. It would not help the young players in that way."

Meanwhile, Guardiola has spoken of the challenge French defender Benjamin Mendy faces to regain consistent fitness after undergoing knee surgery for the second successive season.

France manager Didier Deschamps had warned Mendy, 24, earlier this season about the need to look after his body, before he sustained his latest injury which will sideline him for several weeks.

"I think he's a good professional. When he's there, on the pitch or in the locker room, he's doing what he has to do," Guardiola said.

"But we cannot deny that he had a big injury last season, he has another big injury right now and hopefully everyone can understand what you need to be.

"A strong guy is one who plays every three days. These kind of guys are never injured. That has to be his main target.

"After that we decide if he plays or not. Continuity is the target. He's young, incredible potential and it's a pity, an incredible guy. In two seasons it's a long time not playing for him."