BREAKING: Pep Guardiola's next Manchester City signing confirmed


"The moment we couldn't go through with [new Chelsea signing Marc] Cucurella because the club decide we wouldn't pay this amount of money for this player, I said 'Okay', think about the idea we had before to loan Sergio," Guardiola said of the club's newest signing.

"We spent time to watch him more. I said 'Okay, it is perfect for everything – the price, young player, desire – okay, go for it'.

"He was a No. 10 like Alex Zinchenko, now he adapt in that position. When that happens, [Johan] Cruyff told me all the time that when a winger can play at left-back, they will be the best left-back.

"When a holding midfielder can play as a central defender, they will be the best central defender. It's difficult for players from behind to play forward but not difficult for players to play back.

"He was No. 10 but had the quality to do it in the small pockets in the middle. After we know him a little bit as a person, and convince him the way he comes. I like when players come here that it's a dream because they give everything for us.

"He's so young, open to learn, I spoke with Vinny [Vincent Kompany, former Anderlecht manager] about him.

"He has to improve in some departments, that's why he's 21 and he's going to improve but he's perfect for what we need."