Pep Guardiola has launched a staunch defence of Manchester City’s spending, following comments made by counterpart Jurgen Klopp.
The champions have dipped into the transfer market this summer to prize Jack Grealish from Aston Villa in a £100m deal, with England teammate Harry Kane heavily linked with an even more costly switch to the Etihad before the August deadline.
Should the latter deal be completed, it could well take the club’s spending to over £1b since the former Barcelona boss walked in the door back in 2016.
Such extensive transfer activity has lead perhaps inevitably lead to questions surrounding Financial Fair Play, the club already having been under investigation for reportedly inflating the value of their sponsorship over the last decade.
While they were cleared of any wrongdoing last year, the club continue to be met by accusations of potential financial mismanagement, with Liverpool boss Klopp the latest to perhaps query City’s ability to spend so heavily when others, like the Reds, are seemingly more restricted.
Earlier this week, the German stated that: “I’m never surprised about the financial power of Chelsea, City or United, I’ve been here long enough to know they always find a solution to these things.”
In response, Guardiola has come out in strong defence of the actions of his current club and has insisted that they work within FFP rules, while he also queried why there is a problem with owners, like Sheikh Mansour, wanting to ‘buy into football’.
‘Some owners want to benefit, our owners don’t want any benefits. So they don’t invest in the team, while we invest what we can,’ Guardiola told his pre-match press conference ahead of Sunday’s clash with Tottenham Hotspur.
‘Before there were only one or two clubs. Now there is Chelsea with [Roman] Abramovich and our club with Sheikh Mansour. They want to be buying into football. What is the problem? We have limits for Financial Fair Play and if they don’t agree [with City’s spending] they can go to court and make a statement
‘We bought Jack Grealish because we sold [players] for £60m so in the end we have spent £40m. We follow absolutely the rules. At our club, the owners don’t want to lose money of course but they want to spend, so we can do it.
‘Years ago, when Manchester United won a lot of titles, it was because they spent more money than other clubs. Do you remember that? At that moment Man City couldn’t do it because we did not have the owners we have now.’
The 50-year-old was also keen to remind Klopp of Liverpool’s spending in recent times, particularly their £75m deal for Virgil Van Dijk, with Guardiola stating that their rivals have benefitted from strong investment into the playing squad.
‘You can win from investment. Liverpool were able to go into the market to spend on two incredible players (Virgil van Dijk and Alisson) and they won the Champions League and Premier League.
‘If they don’t want to spend more it’s maybe because they believe they don’t need it or because the owners, they don’t want it. I don’t know. I’m not there.’