Manchester City would be ‘killed’ if they spent same as Chelsea, claims Guardiola | Manchester City

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Pep Guardiola believes if Manchester City had spent almost £1bn on players as Chelsea have since last summer he and the club would be “killed”.

Although City’s manager was at pains to say he was not criticising Chelsea, he offered a pointed response when asked whether his club should move to strengthen in the prolonged absence of Kevin De Bruyne, who he revealed could be out until February – longer than initially feared.

“For Chelsea it is easier than us,” Guardiola said. “I couldn’t sit here if we spent what Chelsea spent in the last two transfer windows – you would kill me. We’d be under scrutiny like you couldn’t imagine.

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“We have to see what happens in the market and if we can do it and to pay what we believe is fair. We wanted [Harry] Maguire [in 2019] and didn’t buy him because we didn’t want to pay, we wanted [Marc] Cucurella [last summer] and didn’t pay, we wanted Alexis Sánchez [2018] and didn’t pay. In the end we will pay what is fair to do it. Otherwise we have the academy.

“I don’t criticise Chelsea for one second. I’m saying, if we do it, we are dead. All around the world [every club] can do whatever they want. I have admiration for Todd [Boehly, the Chelsea co-owner] – I met him. They can do whatever they want. If they want to spend, I don’t know, £900m since he arrived, 900 more, 900 more – they have it. The business is the business. They sell a lot this season so they can do it.”

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Although Guardiola wishes the summer window were shorter he enjoys it. “A new player here, new player there. It’s so funny. I would love it to be shorter, I would have liked to finish the transfer window before the season, but it is what it is.”

Guardiola referenced Saudi Arabian clubs who are now a major factor in the market because of the finance they have available. City have sold Riyad Mahrez to the Saudi Pro League club Al-Ahli in a £30m deal.

“Everybody complains about Saudi Arabia, then they open the door, [show a] red carpet [and ask]: ‘What do you want my friend?’” Guardiola said. “They sell everything, are so happy. Everyone complains but everyone opens the door. This league, other leagues, they are complaining about them until they make the deals.

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“They make deals with Saudi Arabia on whatever. That is the reality, everyone tries [to] do the best [for themselves].”

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