Pep Guardiola believes that Manchester City would be heavily criticised if they spent as much as Premier League rivals Chelsea in the transfer window.
The west London outfit have spent around £300 million this summer and almost £900m in total since Clearlake Capital took over the club from Roman Abramovich. They have, though, recouped £200m in player sales in the current window.
When asked in his pre-match press conference if City had found the transfer market more difficult, he responded: “For Chelsea it is easier than us, for sure!”
He continued: “I couldn’t sit here if we spent what Chelsea spent in the last two transfer windows – you would kill me. You will kill me, that is for sure. We’d be under scrutiny like you couldn’t imagine.”
Guardiola expressed his “admiration” for Todd Boehly and insisted that he has no problem with Chelsea’s level of spending in the transfer market.
“I don’t criticise Chelsea for one second. I’m saying, if we do it, we are dead, all around the world. They can do whatever they want,” he said.
The City boss was also critical of Premier League clubs who complain about Saudi Arabia’s level of transfer spending, but are willing to do deals with them regardless.
“Everybody complains about Saudi Arabia, the clubs, then they open the door, red carpet, ‘what do you want my friend?'” he said.
“They sell everything! They are so happy. Everyone complains but everyone opens the door. Open. This league, other leagues, they are complaining about them until they make the deals. They make deals with Saudi Arabia on whatever. That is the reality.”
Guardiola on whether Chelsea’s spending bothers him:
“Absolutely not, they can do what they want. I don’t criticise Chelsea for one second. I’m saying, if we do it, we are dead, all around the world. They can do whatever they want.
“I have admiration for Todd Boehly. I met him. I’m glad they did it, of course they can do it. They can do whatever they want. If they want to spend, I don’t know, £900 million 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.
“I don’t like when they criticise me, what we do, what I have to say. Everyone has their own business and everyone does what is best for the club. Everyone does it.”
Guardiola on rivals trying to catch up with City:
“Arsenal in three weeks spent on three incredible players because they want to beat us because our standards are there. They don’t want Man City to win again. They want top players to compete with us. First season, we didn’t win, second season kicked off, we buy 10 players – Kyle [Walker], Benja [Mendy], all the players, spent 200 million.
“But not every season we have done it but the people’s mindset has to change – everyone spends, everyone, here and Spain. Everyone spends. A lot. Not just Man City.
“They can do whatever they want. As long as the financials are correct and UEFA approve it and now we are awaiting the Premier League, what they will decide, then we can do whatever they want. They want to do the best football possible for the fans, they want to win the titles and every season get better and better.”
Guardiola on Saudi spending:
“Everybody wins. Tell me the truth: are you enjoying the transfer window? This player, the other one, every few months on Sky TV, a new player here, new player there. It’s so funny.
“But imagine Saudi Arabia. They finish [their transfer window] later. Imagine now them arriving ‘I want five players here.’ Everybody complains about Saudi Arabia, the clubs, then they open the door, red carpet, ‘what do you want my friend?’
“They sell everything! They are so happy. Everyone complains but everyone opens the door. Open. This league, other leagues, they are complaining about them until they make the deals. They make deals with Saudi Arabia on whatever. That is the reality.
“And step by step, not just Man City. We won because we have a lot of players, spent a lot of money, like everyone. But there is a lot of work behind the scenes. Not just money wins the treble, my friends, I’m sorry! We want to defend the cups.”