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Pep Guardiola confirms Aleksandar Kolarov is set to join Roma

HOUSTON -- Aleksandar Kolarov is close to joining Roma after telling Pep Guardiola that he wants to leave Manchester City.

The Serbian defender, who is in the final year of his contract, did not feature in Manchester City's 2-0 defeat to rivals United in the International Champions Cup on Thursday.

City are pursuing Monaco left-back Benjamin Mendy but are now set to lose a fourth full-back after allowing Pablo Zabaleta, Gael Clichy and Bacary Sagna to leave the club.

Guardiola signed right-back Kyle Walker in a £50 million deal from Tottenham Hotspur this month, but was forced to play centre-midfielder Fernandinho and centre-half Eliaquim Mangala as full-backs against United in the first ever derby outside England.

"We don't have another option, we don't have full-backs," Guardiola said in his post-match news conference. "We try to buy full-backs on the right side, not just Kyle because the other three full-backs we didn't extend the contracts.

"Kolarov is one step to go to Roma. That's why we don't have any other options."

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City hope to wrap up a deal for France international Mendy after reports that they had a £44.5 million offer rejected by the Ligue 1 champions.

Real Madrid defender Danilo is also close to moving to the Etihad Stadium and has the flexibility to play on both the left and the right hand side of defence as well as midfield.

But Guardiola may now have to bring yet another full-back after deciding to allow former Lazio defender Kolarov to leave.

"I don't like to work with people who don't want to stay," he added. "Kola helped me a lot last season in terms of many, many things.

"But he had a big chance to go back to Rome where he was before and he spoke to me, the club and asked me to leave.

"I don't like to stay with players who don't want to stay. That's why it's the best option for everybody.

"I wish him all the best because he's a really nice guy. We had an excellent relationship. I was very pleased to train him and I wish him and his family the best."

Aleksandar Kolarov has made 165 appearances, scoring 11 goals during his seven-year stay at the Etihad.

Guardiola would ideally like to bring in new faces as soon as possible but insists it is a difficult market this summer.

"The season is so long. Of course we would like to have the players as soon as possible. We have 11 months, so many games to play and it's important they will arrive when they arrive," the City boss said.

"If it's not possible to arrive we will find an alternative solution.

"We knew the situation at the end of the season. But we knew that from the beginning because the market is so complicated with the clubs and we need to find the best solution to help us to improve."

Jonathan is ESPN FC's Manchester City correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @jonnysmiffy.


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