PEP GUARDIOLA has delivered a transfer blow to a quartet of Championship clubs who were interested in taking Liam Delap on loan.

The impressive forward – son of former professional footballer Rory – has an incredible goal record for Manchester City's Under-23s.

Last season, Delap scored 24 goals in 20 games for the youth side, and made three first team appearances scoring once in the Carabao Cup against Bournemouth.

As a result, the likes of West Brom, Derby, Stoke and Birmingham have been interested in taking him on a season-long loan.

But City boss Guardiola appears to have ruled out a loan move, with the player still recovering from an injury he picked up on the first day of pre-season.

And when he does regain fitness, Guardiola has confirmed he will train with the first team.

Guardiola told the Manchester Evening News: "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.”

The Spaniard went on to slam the disparities in competition between first team football and academy football to justify why Delap will train with the first team.

Guardiola added: "He’s going to train with us if a striker comes or doesn’t come. 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.”


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