Friday, 18 January, 2019

Pep Guardiola says Manchester City must be 'careful' in pursuit of signings

Sergio Aguero Manchester City 2018-19 Getty Images
Cary Erickson | 14 January, 2019, 07:41

Pep Guardiola believes it's hard for Manchester City to beat Real Madrid or Barcelona in the transfer market.

But with City still fighting for silverware on four fronts, the Catalan is happy to rely on John Stones and Ilkay Gundogan until the end of the season.

Neves, whose Wolves side visit the Etihad on Monday, tends to play as one of two holding midfielders, whereas Fernandinho performs that role on his own in the City line-up. He has incredible relationship with the Brazilian guys, like Danilo, Fernandinho, Bernardo, many, many players here.

Guardiola would not be drawn specifically on City's interest in De Jong but admitted it is rare to beat Barcelona to a signing.

The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss added: "Specifically with Fernandinho's role, it's so hard to find".

The Citizens struggled to deal with the loss of Fernandinho through injury over the festive period and lost three times in the space of four Premier League games. But, of course, for the next season it's an important target to find.

Guardiola said he had not spoken to Kevin De Bruyne after the Belgium worldwide went straight down the tunnel after being substituted in the 9-0 Carabao Cup thrashing of Burton Albion.

Ohio State QB Tate Martell is listed in NCAA transfer portal
He played in 12 games for the Bulldogs, threw four touchdown passes and ran for four more during his first season in Athens. I've put two years of working my a- off for something that I've been waiting for and dreaming of having my whole life".

"There are many clubs in the world, many holding midfielders in the world, and majority can play here".

Wolves midfielder and Portugal global Neves has impressed following the club's promotion, however, Guardiola insisted City can not afford the 21-year-old amid talk of a £100million fee. Majority are under contracts.

"That is why we did it but we can not do it every season".

"A month ago, I started reading 'Ruben Neves, £100m.' That is not going to happen, we are not going to pay £100m for a holding midfielder". I am in touch with the CEO [Ferran Soriano], we have a limit.

Frenkie de Jong is also understood to have been one of the club's midfield targets but reports in the Spanish press suggest he is close to sealing a summer move from Ajax to Barcelona and Guardiola concedes it is becoming harder for clubs to secure their prized recruits. "I know exactly what they do, with the (City) academy, with the first team and they are doing it really well".

"Sometimes we have done it but normally when you want to buy a player it's for five or six years and that doesn't normally happen in this window".