Pep Guardiola has raised the possibility that Manchester City will not make any new signings in the next transfer window.
City are on the verge of surrendering their Premier League trophy to runaway leaders Liverpool — who drew 0-0 with Everton on Sunday — after back-to-back title wins. But Guardiola has hinted that it may be the same players who are charged with closing the gap with Jurgen Klopp’s side next season.
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“I don’t know that right now,” Guardiola, when asked about his plans in the transfer market, said. “The places I was — Barcelona, Bayern and here — when the club say we cannot afford it, we cannot afford it.
“But I don’t know, it depends on the people who stay.Maybe in the next two months the team make a step forward and we stay with the same people. I don’t know right now.”
City were priced out of a move for Harry Maguire last summer before the England defender signed for Manchester United from Leicester in a £80 million deal. A new centre-back remains Guardiola’s priority but the financial uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic, combined with the ongoing battle to comply with UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules, means it may not be possible in the next window.
City will also have to contend with the departure of David Silva, who is out of contract at the end of the campaign, and possibly Leroy Sane, who has told the club he will not extend his deal beyond 2021.
“I don’t know if he [Sane] is going to leave this summer or at the end of his contract but we have enough good players up front,” Guardiola added. “Gabriel [Jesus] can play on the left, Phil Foden can play on the left, we have Raheem [Sterling] there.
“We have big, talented players up front. Most of them are in good healthy conditions, like Phil, Riyad [Mahrez], Gabriel [Jesus], Raheem [Sterling], they can play quite regularly for a long period of time, they are so stable in terms of injury situations.
“I think we have other priorities maybe [in the transfer market]. And I don’t know, after the coronavirus, if the situation economically and financially for the clubs is changing. I don’t know what the situation is. We’re going to see at the end of this season.”
Sane’s future will depend on whether Bayern Munich can agree a fee for the German winger this summer, or wait to sign the 24-year-old for free in 12 months’ time. Sources have told ESPN that City will not accept a cut price deal this summer and the £30 million price tag being reported in Germany is well below their own valuation.
“I am not involved with both clubs,” Guardiola said. “There were a lot of talks about Bayern Munich, but I don’t know exactly the situation with both clubs, what he’s going to do.”