Man City

What does Pep Guardiola look for in a transfer target?

The Spaniard has revealed the main factor which is important above all else when attempting to spot a talent

2:00pm on Thursday 15th October 2020
Martin Macdonald

Pep Guardiola says a player's mentality and character are the most important factors he takes into consideration when deciding whether or not to sign a player.

The 49-year-old has been in charge of three of Europe's most elite clubs - Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and now Manchester City.

At each club he has won the league and raised the standard of how they operate both on and off the pitch.

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He is naturally known for targeting players who already fulfil or have the ability to adapt to his 'tiki-taka' playing philosophy.

Although he recognises that talent and physical skills are important, he has revealed that he will only make a decision on a transfer target once he can be sure of their mental qualities.

"I would say we see the skills [first] but we should see more the character," he said in an interview with Indian cricketer Virat Kohli.

"You have to ask about the character though. You see the skill videos, you play against them, you see right left, fast, low, strong in the air, shoots well, both feet or not.

"Everyone can watch but to know exactly the character - how they handle the tough situations or playing in incredibly tough scenarios with difficult games and knockout games how they react, overcome bad situations or become the best players they are - will be more important.


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"The character absolutely makes the difference, being a competitor and hungry and especially in the bad moments forget immediately the bad action and think positively about the next one. When you are able to find this as much as possible in the squad it is a winning team because skills don't handle pressure or ambition,- in high competition is not enough."

Guardiola does concede that you ultimately cannot know how a player will adapt until they are in the surroundings of their new club, team-mates, and location.

"But when you buy players sometimes you don't know them and you see if they settle with their teammates, with the way we're going to play, in the city they're going to live," he added.

"This is always a doubt. Until you buy them, until you are with them it is difficult to know it. At the end it is how you handle the pressure."

The former Barca and Bayern boss has spent big in the transfer window this summer to try and improve his previously leaky Man City defence. He has recruited both Ruben Dias and Nathan Ake, while Ferran Torres has been signed as an attacking reinforcement.

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