Wednesday, 20 March, 2019

Man City boss Guardiola: January market can be good opportunity

Sergio Aguero Manchester City 2018-19 Getty Images
Sidney Guerrero | 14 January, 2019, 07:45

Despite Manchester City now sitting seven points behind Liverpool, albeit with a game in hand, Pep Guardiola has suggested that his side don't need any help from the January transfer window.

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.

City have been linked with a move for Frenkie de Jong from Ajax at the end of this season, but the Dutch midfielder is attracting significant interest from other clubs too.

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.

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

Guardiola says the club will make every effort to improve their squad this summer, with 33-year-old Fernandinho absent for the club's back-to-back league defeats against Crystal Palace and Leicester during the festive schedule.

Guardiola has been asked numerous times if City might try to add to the squad during this month's transfer window but he remains adamant that will not happen. But, of course, for the next season it's an important target to find.

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Guardiola says last season's Carabao Cup game between the two sides offered all the evidence he needed to know how strong they are. But we can not do it every season.

"There are many clubs in the world, many holding midfielders in the world, and a lot of them can play here. There are [players] but majority are under contract", Guardiola said. "But a month ago, I started reading, "Ruben Neves, £100 million" - that is not going to happen, we are not going to pay £100 million for a holding midfielder".

"But if you want one player and many, many clubs want him it is more complicated". I am in touch with the CEO [Ferran Soriano], we have a limit.

Guardiola did not reference De Jong but conceded City face a hard task beating Barca and Madrid when it comes to transfers.

"But I'm not talking about the case of the Ajax player because he is an Ajax player".

Jimenez added: "Maybe the "smaller" sides know we are a very hard team to beat so they wait at the back of the pitch - that's when we have some problems".

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