Alexis Sanchez to Man City off? Pep Guardiola plays down transfer talk

Manchester City's Gabriel Jesus off in tears with knee injury

I admire him. He's had a long career and I respect that, just as I respect Gareth Barry for all those games he's played in the Premier League. Puncheon appeared fortunate to receive just a yellow.

The Belgian was later seen hobbling without the brace and Guardiola believes De Bruyne has escaped a potentially serious injury, but he feels Jesus might be facing a couple of months out.

The Chilean has continued to be linked with a move to the league leaders.

Sanchez was reported to have been disappointed that a move failed to go through, but speculation ever since has suggested that the two parties will eventually link up, either in January or at the end of the season.

The Brazilian, who suffered a foot injury in February that put him out for several months of last season, was clearly upset when he walked off with a leg injury to be replaced by Sergio Aguero.

Ederson turned out to be Manchester City's saviour on New Year's eve with his stoppage time penalty save as Manchester City drew 0-0 with Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Sunday.

On the transfer front, Guardiola refused to be drawn on whether De Bruyne's injury would influence his pursuit of Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez. He made his way to the dressing room in tears, consoled by City's medical staff.

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Puncheon was booked for his tackle on De Bruyne, in which he also injured himself, but could easily have been given a straight red card.

But Guardiola does not see Sanchez leaving Arsenal in the coming weeks. "Then Kevin we were lucky, well not lucky".

"We were lucky in the recent past".

He said: 'Please, referees, they have to protect players.

'The replay speaks for itself. "It's better to concentrate on our performance and how well we played", he said.

Jonathan is ESPN FC's Manchester City correspondent.

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