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Sources: Man City close on €80m Saul deal


Pep Guardiola: 'Invincibles' record belongs to Arsenal, Arsene Wenger

MANCHESTER -- Pep Guardiola has told Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger that his "Invincibles" record is safe despite Manchester City's unbeaten start to the season.

Arsenal are the only side to go a full Premier League season unbeaten when they won the title in the 2003-04 campaign.

Just 10 games into this season, Wenger says it is far too early to contemplate City replicating his achievement, and Guardiola said they are more focused on winning when the two sides meet at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

"Arsene's record belongs to him, we are not going to break it -- he has to be calm," the City boss told a news conference. "It was an exceptional team, something fantastic. We don't want to break this record but we want to play good and beat them on Sunday."

Guardiola has no new injury worries with captain Vincent Kompany set to return to training after being left out of the Belgium squad for next week's friendlies.

Arsenal, meanwhile, are set to play Alexis Sanchez, who nearly joined City in the summer before the Gunners pulled the plug on a £60 million deal. 

The forward is out of contract at the end of the season and City could even make a fresh, lower offer in January, but Guardiola said he is more concerned about his side's performance on Sunday.

Arsene Wenger's Arsenal side went unbeaten in the Premier League in the 2003-04 campaign.

"He's an Arsenal player, his manager has to speak about him. You know the situation before when the transfer window was open but now it's closed," Guardiola said. "Let's not talk about that. He's such an important player for them, for the talent he has and we have to try to control him. Let's just focus on that.

"You know my opinion on the players I have. Alexis, you know my opinion, but he's an Arsenal player -- so it's not correct to talk about that, especially before we play them."

The form of Raheem Sterling has lessened the blow of missing out on Sanchez, with the former Liverpool player topping City's scoring charts with 10 goals.

Sterling is just one goal away from beating his best ever tally in a season and Guardiola says he has been working extra hours in training on his finishing.

"I think he's enjoying scoring goals, he's not scared, he's not afraid to take a risk. And now he's seeing how fun, how good it is to score goals," Guardiola added. "[City coach] Mikel Arteta is working many, many hours and days after training specifically about the last action on the pitch -- that control in the last moment to make the right movement in the final three or four metres.

"For himself Raheem has wanted to stay there, to improve, to practise, to shoot at the goalkeepers. It's part of the mentality he needs. He knows a striker has to score goals and he has to do that if he wants to achieve the next step. You won't survive in the high level teams in his position if you don't score goals.

"Now the confidence is there and the club has new players coming in who can score goals. All the strikers and wingers have seven goals -- it's not just Gabriel [Jesus], it's not just Sergio [Aguero] -- and that is important for us. I think it's mainly because he's decided, 'I want to score goals, I can do that and I'm enjoying that.'"

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


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