Pep Guardiola says Manchester City must be 'careful' in pursuit of signings

Nuno Espirito Santo

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.

Guardiola does not appear to have a deputy of the same quality - John Stones, normally a centre-back, struggled in the role when Crystal Palace won at the Etihad Stadium on December 22, while Ilkay Gundogan has not been entirely convincing either.

City have been linked with 21-year-old Ajax and Netherlands sensation Frenkie de Jong, who is also the subject of interest from Barca, Madrid and Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain.

"If you are the only one who want players it's easy", he said. He has incredible relationship with the Brazilian guys, like Danilo, Fernandinho, Bernardo, many, many players here.

"Fernandinho's role, it's so hard to find [a similar player]", he added.

Pep Guardiola has confirmed they are making good progress and could be in contention for a place in the side in Monday's crucial Premier League encounter.

"I don't know what happened, he didn't speak to me, so I don't know what happened", said the City boss. But, of course, for the next season it's an important target to find.

Wolves midfielder and Portugal global Neves has impressed following the club's promotion, however, Guardiola insisted City can not afford the 21-year-old amid talk of a £100million fee.

"There are many holding midfielders in the world". Majority are under contracts. "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".

"That is why we did it but we can not do it every season".

City do have a number of irons in the fire at the moment - including Lyon pair Tanguy Ndombele and Houssem Aouar - and much of Guardiola's Friday press conference was dedicated to the subject of the Blues' transfer business, and the task of replacing Fernandinho. We are not going to pay £100 million for a holding midfielder. I am in touch with the CEO [Ferran Soriano], we have a limit.

"But if you want one player and many, many clubs want him it is more complicated". "I'm happy here, happy with my play and happy in the team. I didn't speak with him so that one time I can not say what he thinks because I don't know".

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