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Guardiola forecasts end to City spending spree

Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has said the club will curb their transfer spending in future years after a huge outlay on players during the close season.

Defenders Benjamin Mendy, Kyle Walker and Danilo have all arrived at the Etihad Stadium along with goalkeeper Ederson and midfielder Bernardo Silva to take City’s expenditure to £217 million ($281 million, 238 million euros).

Former Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach Guardiola claimed it was necessary to reinvigorate City’s ageing squad but he will only seek to add one or two new faces in forthcoming seasons.

“Hopefully next season I will be here and we are not going to spend how we spent this season,” Guardiola said Friday on the eve of his side’s opening game of the new Premier League season at promoted Brighton and Hove Albion.

“Six players were out of contract. In the last six or seven years Manchester City didn’t buy full-backs. 

“We didn’t have full-backs and you have to buy full-backs,” the Spaniard added. “The market is so demanding for all the teams, not just Manchester City.”

Guardiola said the current spike in football transfer spending, which culminated in Neymar’s recent world record move from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain for 222 million euros (£200 million, $260 million), had been building for some time.

– ‘Unsustainable’ –

“It started with Real Madrid and Ronaldo going for £80 million and then Bale for £85 million and everything went more expensive. Now with Neymar.

“But it is going to finish, it is unsustainable. In the next three or four years Manchester City will buy one, two, maybe three players.

“We needed to do that because it was one of the oldest teams in Europe, not just the Premier League, and we need to change it. We were not able with those players to find a solution. But the solution is not changing players every season.

“The group of players this season are going to stay here for a long time. We will maybe change one important player.”

Despite making such significant investments, Guardiola claimed City have actually saved money by getting the majority of their transfer business done earlier in the close season.

“We did it earlier and we are lucky because it would be more expensive now,” said the Catalan.

“The club was clever like that because we anticipated what we needed. But I think it is unsustainable. Sooner or later it’s going to finish.

“The fact that we signed earlier helped us avoid signing players who are so expensive like now. We go to sign and other clubs are always going to ask us for more.”

After bolstering their squad, Guardiola’s side — who came third last season — have been made favourites to win the title, but the City manager said he could cope with that burden.

“It’s the same pressure as I had last season,” Guardiola explained. “We are here to win the games and titles. 

“The big fail now takes one week in football! The pressure it’s never a big problem. I’m honest in my job.

“I will do my best like I did last season. I feel the same pressure at Barcelona when I arrived.

“People say in my first press conference we are favourites. We have to deal with that and handle that. We are going to see at the end of the season what happens, knowing how difficult it is.”

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