Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has refused to comment on reports linking the Premier League champions with Brighton left-back Marc Cucurella.
City have been linked with the Spanish defender throughout the summer and there have been reports that he has now handed in a transfer request at the Amex Stadium.
Guardiola, speaking at a press conference to preview Saturday’s Community Shield against Liverpool, said: “He’s a Brighton player, I cannot say anything else.”
Guardiola did admit, however, that left-back is an area where the club are looking to strengthen.
Following the departure of Oleksandr Zinchenko to Arsenal, Joao Cancelo is currently the only senior specialist option in the position.
The Man City boss said: “If it’s possible, yes. If it’s not, we stay with what we have.”
Guardiola also confirmed central defender Aymeric Laporte will miss the start of the season after undergoing a knee operation in the summer. The Spain international had been carrying a knock in the closing games of last term.
Guardiola added: “Laporte is injured. He had knee surgery after last season, playing the last two or three games with an important injury. He made an incredible effort.
“So far he is doing really well but you have to be careful with a knee. I think August he will be out, September I think maybe he will start to be with us.”
On adapting to life without Zinchenko and Raheem Sterling, Guardiola continued: “If you analyse what happened in the last years without these important players, it would be difficult to imagine. In terms of their influences on the pitch and off the pitch, many reasons. These kind of situations happen in football. We wish all of them the best.
“New people have arrived; they have settled quickly. They are down to earth, very humble people, and we are going to try as Manchester City, not this player or the other one, it’s all of us.
“We are going to try to be a competitive team. With the guys we have we are going to try and move forward.”
Asked whether their new additions would need time to settle this season, Guardiola replied: “Hopefully not. The quicker they settle the better.
“It is my feeling that it will not take time. Kalvin knows the Premier League perfectly. The way they have settled and behaved in the few minutes they have played, I think they are going to settle quickly.”