Every word Pep Guardiola said today on Steven Gerrard, Jack Grealish, Ilkay Gundogan transfer & more

The Manchester City coach was also asked about the fitness of two key first-team players.

Pep Guardiola wasn’t short of talking points when he addressed the media on Friday ahead of Manchester City’s title-deciding clash against Aston Villa.

It’s a game set against a backdrop of headline-spinning narratives, with Jack Grealish able to beat his boyhood club to win a first title, while Steven Gerrard coud hand Liverpool the league by winning at the Etihad this weekend.

Guardiola was asked about both of those subjects in his pre-match press conference, along with an update on the fitness of John Stones and Kyle Walker after they were pictured in training during the week.

Elsewhere, the City boss was quizzed on rumours that Ilkay Gundogan is set to leave the club this summer, although the original reports about a mid-week trip to the continent proved to be unrelated to a transfer, with the midfielder getting married in Denmark.

Here’s what Guardiola had to say on all of those topics ahead of the clash with Villa…

Stones and Walker trained this week ahead of the Villa clash. Credit: Getty.

Stones & Walker fitness

“We have incredible doctors and physios and they have recovered. They made a partial training and we will see tomorrow. It is good for us to have them back.”

Grealish takes on Villa

“He helped Aston Villa to get promoted to the Premier League, this is the biggest title you can get for the club and then after to remain in the Premier League for two seasons.

“The second one was exceptional. For him, he has never won a Premier League so he must be so excited, but then he can realise what I said before about the day after - we’ll be happy if we have won.

“But my advice to him is to try to be happy as much as possible playing football, this is more important than winning titles - being happy. You feel alone after two or three days. That’s all? All the effort for that?

“Having it on your CV is good but no more than that. The important thing is, does he feel happy here? This is more important. It’s magnificent and then you defend over a year being a champion and someone has to take us out.”

Manchester City will win the Premier League title if they beat Aston Villa on Sunday. Credit: Getty.

Gundogan rumours

“He is getting married - congratulations. It is good. He was getting married. He asked my permission to travel to Denmark and I congratulate him.

“If you ask me personally, I want Ilkay here next season. There is no idea, no intention for Ilkay to not be here next season. After if he wants to leave, for a new experience or whatever, as a club we don’t know it.

“But all the great Twitter accounts and guys like you said he was going to leave, so congratulations - I didn’t know it. Maybe you have more info than me or the club on the situation right now.”

Gerrard impact & Villa threat

“I said to the players, it’s just a football game, focus on the football game, don’t think of the consequences, of how happy we will be if we win or how sad we will be if we lose. Forget about it, it’s just a football game and just think about what you have to do to win against Aston Villa.

“If you think about it being one more title or one less title - yeah this kind of thing is important, everyone knows it – but it’s a football game. Do they play with [Ollie] Watkins or [Danny] Ings and Watkins? Does Douglas Luiz play as a holding midfielder or as a three, or not? Will [John] McGinn move outside or not?

“This is what we have to handle tomorrow, these kind of things are what we have to think about if we want to win the game, with our people.

“As a club we have not been here many times in our time so once we are here, should we be anxious or nervous? No. No way. Go there and try to enjoy the game, enjoy the moments. We will suffer in moments, if we concede a goal, come on, let’s go, try again, try again and the good moments continue and do it.

“From my little experience this is the best way to approach these situations.”