Eliaquim Mangala will not be sold by Manchester City during the January transfer window but Pep Guardiola has offered no assurances over the defender’s long-term future.
France international Mangala joined City from Porto in 2014 and has struggled to become a first-team regular at the Etihad Stadium.
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Although the 26-year-old has made 51 Premier League appearances for City, he spent last season on loan at Valencia and is yet to start a match in 2017-18.
But Guardiola is happy with Mangala’s attitude to training and intends to keep hold of the centre-back until the end of the season, at least.
“He is our player and he is going to stay here in the winter break,” said Guardiola.
“Mangala is a player with a lot of experience who played at a high level in Porto, last season in Valencia and with the national team in France.
“I am really impressed about his behaviour in the training sessions. He hasn’t played regularly until now and he has always accepted it.
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“When that happened he kept his head down. For a manager, for a club and for the environment in the squad that is so important.
“Of course he has his specific qualities. In the Premier League that is important sometimes. So we are going to use him when we believe we need him.”
If Mangala does exit the club at the end of the campaign, he may not be alone in doing so.
“In the summertime we are going to re-scale absolutely everything,” added Guardiola.
“Not just with Mangala, with everybody. The club is going to tell them. [It depends] if you are happy or if you are not, if you are comfortable in the position you had in the past playing or not playing. They have to decide.
“The future will be like this. We always want players who want to stay here.”
City are eight points clear of Manchester United at the top of the Premier League.