Pep Guardiola has acknowledged finding a long-term replacement for Fernandinho is becoming a matter of increasing urgency for Manchester City.
The 33-year-old Brazilian has become one of the most important players in City’s line-up during Guardiola’s three seasons at the club, with his hard work and passing ability as a holding midfielder providing both security in front of the defence and scope for the team to attack.
Reigning champions City have lost just one of the 19 Premier League matches in which Fernandinho has played, whereas they have been defeated in both of the games he has missed.
Guardiola does not appear to have a deputy of the same quality — John Stones, normally a centre-back, struggled in the role when Crystal Palace won at the Etihad Stadium on December 22, while Ilkay Gundogan has not been entirely convincing either. Read more