The Manchester City boss made sure journalists present at his press conference on Monday knew exactly what he thinks about reports from Chile

Pep Guardiola has strongly rejected claims that he called Alexis Sanchez on Saturday night to persuade him to join Manchester City.

Chilean newspaper El Mercurio reported that Guardiola made personal contact with Alexis just hours after the striker had scored a hat-trick against West Ham.

Guardiola worked with Alexis at Barcelona and remains a keen admirer, but he was unequivocal when asked about the report.

“Absolutely false,” he stated. “The journalist is a liar.”

Guardiola answered the question in Catalan and, after his response was translated into English, he left local reporters in no doubt by adding: “The journalist is a liar. Guys, this journalist is a liar.”

Guardiola was speaking ahead of City’s Champions League game against Celtic on Tuesday night.

City have already qualified for the last-16 of the competition, and with a number of key Premier League games coming up in December, Guardiola is going to make changes to his side.

“There will be changes tomorrow, definitely,” he said. “I am so happy to give minutes to people who deserve to play and who did not play in the last games. If Sergio is going to play or not, I am going to decide today or tomorrow. I don’t know at the moment.”