Man City sum­mer spend­ing spree not over: Guardi­ola

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Pep Guardi­ola has con­firmed Manch­ester City are “still look­ing” to add to their £200 mil­lion sum­mer spend­ing spree, al­though he re­fused to com­ment on the pos­si­bil­ity of hi­jack­ing Real Madrid’s move for Kylian Mbappe.

City have been the ma­jor shop­pers in the trans­fer mar­ket af­ter splash­ing out a Premier League record to­tal of £200m (223 mil­lion eu­ros, $260 mil­lion) to bring Ben­jamin Mendy, Bernardo Silva, Kyle Walker, Eder­son, Danilo and Dou­glas Luiz to the Eti­had.

But it re­mains likely that they will con­tinue their haul af­ter be­ing strongly linked with moves for Arse­nal front­man Alexis Sanchez and Monaco teenage striker Mbappe. Mbappe has been on City’s radar through­out the sum­mer, al­though there have been strong sug­ges­tions in Spain that Real have agreed a fee of £160 mil­lion ($210 mil­lion, 180 mil­lion eu­ros) for the 18year-old.

Ahead of yes­ter­day’s In­ter­na­tional Cham­pi­ons Cup en­counter against Real Madrid, in Los An­ge­les, Guardi­ola wasn’t be­ing drawn on ei­ther. “They are Monaco and Arse­nal play­ers, so noth­ing to say,” he said. But he did con­firm that City were still look­ing at op­tions in the mar­ket, al­beit he was coy on whether an­other striker was on the agenda.

“We have the two ex­cep­tional for­wards in Gabriel (Je­sus) and Ser­gio (Aguero),” he said. “We will see. “The mar­ket fin­ishes on Au­gust 31, which is not good for the man­agers. “The com­pe­ti­tion (Premier League) starts on the 12th (of Au­gust) and the mar­ket is still open. That is not good for all the clubs. “We will see un­til the end of the trans­fer win­dow.” Mendy be­came City’s lat­est sign­ing ear­lier this week when the left­back ar­rived from Monaco in a £52 mil­lion ($67 mil­lion, 58 mil­lion eu­ros) deal. The 23year-old is still around a fort­night from fea­tur­ing in a City shirt due to in­jury, but Guardi­ola is de­lighted to have brought in a de­fender who made such an im­pres­sion dur­ing Monaco’s Cham­pi­ons League cam­paign last sea­son.

“He can at­tack in­side and out­side,” Guardi­ola said. “He’s a young player so some­times you have to pay a bit more for them. “But we have one guy for the next five or six years.” Bring­ing in younger play­ers at the back was clearly on Guardi­ola’s mind this sum­mer af­ter jet­ti­son­ing the 30some­thing quar­tet of Pablo Za­baleta, Gael Clichy, Bacary Sagna and Alek­san­dar Ko­larov to bring in fel­low full-backs Mendy, Danilo and Kyle Walker.

City spent £130 mil­lion ($169 mil­lion, 145 mil­lion eu­ros)on that trio alone, yet Guardi­ola be­lieves they will of­fer long-term value for money. “Manch­ester City didn’t in­vest in their full-backs for six or seven years and all four were 30-31 years old,” he said. “We de­cided to make the squad younger and we tried to get the best full-backs pos­si­ble. “Dani Alves was free but de­cided to go to Paris. Kyle, Mendy and Danilo were the best op­tions we had.” — AFP

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