Guardiola denies Klopp’s claim that City live in ‘fantasia land’
Manager claims champions won title with a net spend of £17m last season
Pep Guardiola: “It bothers me because it’s not true that we spent £200m every window.” Photograph: Koji Watanabe/Getty Images
Pep Guardiola has dismissed Jürgen Klopp’s claim that Manchester City live in a “fantasia land” where they can spend £200m every year as he insisted the treble winners enjoyed success on a £17m budget last season.
City face Liverpool, the only Premier League club yet to make a senior signing this summer, in Sunday’s Community Shield after Klopp argued only City, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid could afford to invest colossal sums every year.
But while Guardiola has broken City’s transfer record for a second successive summer, with Rodri replacing Riyad Mahrez as the biggest buy in their history, he is adamant he has not invested heavily, while highlighting Liverpool’s outlay in 2018, when they were England’s largest spenders.
He said: “It bothers me because it’s not true that we spent £200m every window. So it’s Liverpool; you’ll never walk alone; it’s not a small team, it’s Liverpool. So of course I don’t like it.”
Guardiola’s overall outlay at City is around £600m after the £63m acquisition of Rodri from Atlético Madrid, but it was concentrated in his first two years at the Etihad Stadium and has since been offset by sales of fringe players.
“Last season we spent [a net] £17m on just one player,” he said. “Two seasons ago when we spent a lot it’s because I took over a team with 10 or 11 players aged 30 or over so I had to do it. But we cannot spend £200m every season. For example, Liverpool spent more than £200m last season and can’t do it again this season so it’s the same.
“We bought one player [Rodri] this summer and paid the [£5.3m] buyback clause for Angelino [to re-sign the reserve left-back from PSV Eindhoven] and that is the reality. So today clubs cannot spend every single season spending a lot of money.”
Guardiola said there could be some incomings and outgoings at City in the last week of the window, with the Portugal international João Cancelo a potential arrival from Juventus, possibly in a part-exchange for Danilo.
The City manager is adamant Leroy Sané will have to request a move if he is to join Bayern Munich. Guardiola’s former club have courted the winger all summer, with their manager, Niko Kovac, saying this week he was confident of signing Sané.
City want £135m for the Germany international and Guardiola said: “If he knocks on the door and tells me he wants to leave then, okay, we are going to speak with the club. But nobody has told me that. So that’s why he’s our player, he’s my player.”
Guardiola shrugged off Bayern’s continued commentary on Sané’s situation. “I am not disappointed. I know most of them. Also, I talk too much sometimes. I am pretty sure they don’t do it to offend us.”
The City manager said the prospect of Sané signing a contract extension has receded. The winger’s current deal expires in 2021 and Guardiola said: “We want him to stay because we try to extend the contract for more than one year, we were quite close a month ago. It was close and now it is not.”
City begin life after Vincent Kompany at Wembley on Sunday with Guardiola saying the players will choose the Belgian’s successor as captain. The vice-captain David Silva is set to lead City out against Liverpool but one candidate for the captaincy, Fernandinho, is yet to join with his teammates after the Copa América.
Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling, Sergio Agüero and Bernardo Silva are other alternatives and Guardiola said: “When Fernandinho is coming back, we are going to decide who is going to be captain. They have to [choose], I am not going to.”