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Man City players can pick their own captain - Pep Guardiola

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has played down reports he has banned players for being overweight  
PA reporter

PEP GUARDIOLA will ask his Manchester City players to pick their own captain when Vincent Kompany is not fit to take the armband.

The new City boss, speaking in Shenzhen ahead of a pre-season friendly with Borussia Dortmund, explained he did not yet know the squad well enough to make that decision and would leave it with the dressing room. Kompany is established as skipper, but is likely to miss the start of the season with a thigh injury.

"Vincent is the captain and, when he's not playing, the players have to choose," said the former Barcelona boss.

"I don't think it's a big problem, we have people like Vincent, Joe [Hart], Yaya, Pablo [Zabaleta] as well. They have to decide who the real captain is for them. I have never believed I should pick the captain because I am not in the locker room, not in the dressing-room, I'm not in the meetings when they believe they have to change something.

"They have to choose for themselves the best guy to represent their opinions. I don't like to do it because I have only been here a month, so they must decide. It's their responsibility. We've only been together a few weeks or a month and they know each other better than me. It's their responsibility."

City continue to be linked with a major defensive signing, with Everton's John Stones and Juventus' Leonardo Bonucci the most high-profile reported targets, but Guardiola is also considering looking internally for reinforcements. At Barca, he often used midfield players in the back-four, most successfully Javier Mascherano, and has earmarked Fernandinho for similar treatment.

"Fernandinho can play in 10 different positions because he has the quality to play wherever," he said.

"He is quick, aggressive, intelligent and strong in the air. He has the quality to create good build-up play and can play a forward pass, so I think he has the quality to play there [at centre-half]."

Pep Guardiola says Vincent Kompany is a good captain  

City defender Gael Clichy earlier said Guardiola had barred overweight players from training with the team. Guardiola moved to play down his involvement in any dietary decisions, but was clear that meeting fitness, conditioning and weight requirements was non-negotiable.

"Normally, I'm not a guy to say 'you can't eat that', I don't know what they eat normally. They eat what the nutritionist decides," he said.

"They were not overweight [at the start of pre-season], but I want my players fit. For me, weight is so, so important. We need to run, we need to fight... after three days, [do it] again, after three days again, three days again. When you are not fit and your weight is not proper, danger is coming. That's why I want my players absolutely fit."

Clichy had earlier said: "If your weight is too high, you're not training with the team.

"You hear it a lot but, for my part, it's the first time any manager has really done it. And we have a few players who are not training with the team yet. You have to know that, if your weight is 60 kilos and you are on 70 kilos, then you cannot play football. He cut out some juice and, of course, pizza and all the heavy food is not allowed."

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