£216m money well spent – Pep

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT -

LON­DON: Man­ager Pep Guardi­ola has de­fended Manch­ester City’s English sum­mer spend­ing spree as be­ing dic­tated by mar­ket val­ues. City have brought in five play­ers at a re­ported cost of £216-mil­lion as they look to re­bound from a dis­ap­point­ing third-place fin­ish last sea­son. And with more than a month un­til the Au­gust 31 trans­fer dead­line it’s likely they’ll sur­pass Real Madrid’s record lay­out of £219m in 2009. “I could not imag­ine years ago, even two or three years ago, pay­ing £100 mil­lion or £120 mil­lion for one player, now it has hap­pened and will hap­pen more,” Guardi­ola told a news con­fer­ence on City’s pre-sea­son tour of the United States. “It’s a lot. I would like to pay less for the club, for ev­ery­body but the mar­ket is the mar­ket. “All the clubs spent a lot of money not just us.” City signed Monaco de­fender Ben­jamin Mendy on Mon­day for £52m. He fol­lows right-back Kyle Walker, goal­keeper Eder­son Mo­raes, de­fender Danilo and mid­fielder Bernardo Silva as new ad­di­tions as Guardi­ola looks to strengthen a de­fence that was lack­ing at times last sea­son. “We had four full-backs and Manch­ester City didn’t in­vest in a full­back for the last seven years,” the Spa­niard said. “All four were 31 or 32 and we de­cided we had to make the squad younger.” City are cur­rently linked with two of the big­gest names on the mar­ket – Arse­nal’s top-scorer Alexis Sanchez and Monaco’s teen sensation Kylian Mbappe. Guardi­ola, though, wasn’t tip­ping his hand on any fur­ther ad­di­tions. “They are Monaco and Arse­nal play­ers, so noth­ing to say,” he said. “We have the two ex­cep­tional for­wards in Gabriel (Je­sus) and Ser­gio (Aguero). “We will see un­til the end of the trans­fer win­dow.”

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