Spanish sunshine awaits City after league opener

Midfielder Bernardo Silva arrived in Manchester on Sunday and has yet to train with City.
Midfielder Bernardo Silva arrived in Manchester on Sunday and has yet to train with City.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

LONDON • Manchester City have taken the unusual step of organising a warm-weather training camp in Catalonia in the second week of the English Premier League season.

The club announced on Monday that Pep Guardiola and his squad will travel to Spain after their opening Premier League match, away to Brighton and Hove Albion on Aug 12. The four-day trip will include a friendly on Aug 15 against Girona, who are part-owned by Guardiola's brother, Pere.

City say that it will give Guardiola time to work with players such as Bernardo Silva, the £43 million (S$77.2 million) signing from Monaco, and Claudio Bravo, the Chile goalkeeper, who missed the pre-season tour to the United States due to their participation in the Confederations Cup.

City are also expected to announce a partnership with the newly-promoted Spanish LaLiga club, who could receive up to six players on loan from the English side as part of the agreement.

The Premier League club have established links with Girona in recent years, with Pablo Maffeo, Angelino and Pablo Mari going to Spain on loan last season.

Maffeo has rejoined Girona on loan for this season, in a deal announced on Monday.

Girona's players have also travelled to Manchester this summer to use training facilities at the City Football Academy.

Txiki Begiristain, the club's director of football, told mancity.com: "This trip is a great opportunity for Pep to work with his full squad in an intensive training camp.

"We have had some players away on international duty this summer, which means Pep hasn't had the chance to work for long with the whole squad."

City's second Premier League match is at home to Everton on Aug 21. Guardiola's side will take on West Ham in a friendly in Reykjavik on Friday before the trip to Brighton.

THE TIMES, LONDON, THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 02, 2017, with the headline 'Spanish sunshine awaits City after league opener'. Print Edition | Subscribe