Manchester City

Manchester City

Premier League • England

Guardiola explains driving force behind heartwarming Oleksandr Zinchenko captaincy gesture

Oleksandr Zinchenko, Man City full-back warms up before Premier League match at Goodison Park

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has shrugged off the plaudits he’s been given following the decision to hand Oleksandr Zinchenko the Cityzens armband in the FA Cup tie at Peterborough.

The defender has faced a truly testing difficult few days following Russia’s invasion of his Ukrainian homeland. Indeed, Zinchenko was shown crying at the support shown to Ukraine ahead of Saturday’s Premier League win at Everton. City won that game 1-0, with Zinchenko an unused substitute.

He came into Guardiola’s side at the Weston Homes Stadium as one of six alterations. Nathan Ake, Fernandinho, Jack Grealish, Riyad Mahrez and Gabriel Jesus also came into Guardiola’s line-up.

Peterborough, struggling at the foot of the Sky Bet Championship, made five changes of their own. They recalled Jorge Grant, Kwame Poku, Ricky-Jade Jones, Jeando Fuchs and Hayden Coulson.

However, it was the decision to hand Zinchenko the armband that proved the major talking point.

Speaking before the game, Guardiola, however, explained the decision was made by Fernadinho.

Captain for the night, Oleksandr Zinchenko

The Brazilian was listed on the team sheet as City’s captain for the night. However, Guardiola revealed the decision came down to him.

Pep rules Man City out of Harry Kane race this summer

Pep Guardiola rules Man City out of Harry Kane race this summer

“Our captain decided to give the armband to him, to show how important the situation is,” Guardiola told ITV Sport.

“We are all at the club behind this gesture and behind my captain, who represents his country.”

City in the mix to sign Villarreal flyer

Liverpool and Manchester City are both reportedly preparing an offer to sign in-demand Villarreal sensation Yeremi Pino.

The 19-year-old winger is a hot topic of debate in Spain following a sensational display over the weekend. Indeed, the teenage star underlined his enormous potential with a four-goal display as the Yellow Submarine sunk Espanyol 5-1.

That performance has taken his tally to seven goals and four assists this season in 32 appearances. Indeed, he is very much seen as one of LaLiga’s standout young stars, who is clearly enjoying his football under the guidance of Unai Emery.

Predictably, though, the Spanish press are already indicating he won’t be at Villarreal for long. As such reports in Spain, via Sport Witness, suggest four Premier League sides are keeping a close watch on Pino.

Indeed, they claim that Liverpool, Manchester City are at the front of the queue for the winger. However, they are far from alone with Arsenal and Chelsea also keeping tabs on Yeremi Pino, who is simply known as Yeremy.

And while Arsenal’s interest dates back to last year, Mikel Arteta’s side are not the favourites to sign him. As per Fijchajés, that honour befalls City and Liverpool who they state are ‘most interested’ in Yeremy.

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