Pep Guardiola dents hopes of loan deal for West Brom target Liam Delap

Albion could be forced to reassess their striker options after Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola insisted young forward Liam Delap would be staying at The Etihad this season.

Manchester City's Liam Delap during the Emirates FA Cup third round match at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester..
Manchester City's Liam Delap during the Emirates FA Cup third round match at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester..

Delap, the 18-year-old son of former Stoke, Sunderland and Derby midfielder Rory, has been targeted by Albion as well as a number of Championship and European sides as a potential loan signing ahead of next week’s transfer deadline day.

It had been thought the highly-rated teenager could be made available to speed his progression into men’s football.

And with Manchester City chasing the signing of Tottenham and England centre-forward Harry Kane, Delap was thought likely to be loaned out to get a taste of first team football.

However, with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy standing firm in refusing to let Kane leave north London so far this summer, Guardiola said he is likely to hang on to Delap.

“He’s going to train with us if a striker comes or doesn’t come,” the City boss said of Delap.

“He’s going to train with us all the season.

“It’s the best way to help their development because the problem in the academies today here in England, the distance between the first team competition in the Premier League and the competition they play is too big.

“It’s really big and it’s difficult to promote them from here.

“That’s the best way with the players we believe have potential...those guys are going to be with us.”

Guardiola added: “It was a pity because he arrived in pre-season and the first day he was injured, and he has been injured so far, he’s still injured

“He could not train one training [session] with us and the three friendly games we played against Barnsley, against the other teams he was injured. It was a good opportunity to see him but we know him quite well. He’s an exceptional striker. Many teams want him, maybe he’s the most requested player we have had since we arrived but we count on him, he’s going to train with us and it depends what’s going to happen this season, if he has minutes or maybe we decide on another option.

“But right now, Liam has to recover from his injury, still not play but after start to the train with us.”

Top Stories

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News