Thursday 23 November 2017

Pep Guardiola 'banned' from signing Bayern Munich players, says Douglas Costa

Pep Guardiola officially starts work as Manchester City boss next month
Pep Guardiola officially starts work as Manchester City boss next month

Mark Critchley

Pep Guardiola has been prohibited from signing any players from Bayern Munich for Manchester City, his new club, according to Douglas Costa.

The 25-year-old winger joined the Guardiola’s Bundesliga champions last summer but claims that he, nor any of his team-mates in Bavaria, will follow their head coach to the Etihad.

While speaking to Globo Esporte, the Brazilian television network, Costa said a clause in Guardiola’s new contract prevents him signing any Bayern players.

"Would I be open to City if Pep called? It's something he has in his contract, a clause that says he cannot sign any players from Bayern," he said.

"I am in a situation where I could stay at Bayern for a long time. The club's philosophy is to keep players at Bayern for a long time. I am happy at the prospect of enjoying a long career here.

"I have made a big step forward since leaving Shakhtar for Bayern. I did not expect to become so important right away. This has been the best year of my career."

Guardiola has already persuaded Ilkay Gundogan to become the first signing of his reign at City, with the Germany international arriving for around £20m from Borussia Dortmund, Bayern’s rivals.

According to widespread reports on Wednesday, the former Barcelona head coach has also identified Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Gundogan’s team-mate, as a transfer target.

It is understood that negotiations between Dortmund and City have taken place and, although the Premier League club’s initial offer was rebuffed, they remain hopeful of snaring the 26-year-old Gabonese striker.

Costa, who impressed in his first season at Bayern, went on to back Guardiola to be a success at City, describing the two-time Champions League winner as ‘magic’.

"Pep has the magic touch. He breathes football,” he said. “He still played himself quite recently. Pep always keeps inventing new things. He is magic. I hope he can win the Champions League with City."

Independent News Service

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