Football News

Liverpool v Man City: Guardiola hits back at Klopp’s “fantasy land” claims

By CJ Smith

Published: 13:50, 3 August 2019

Pep Guardiola has hit back at Jurgen Klopp’s claims that Manchester City spend money as if they’re in “fantasy land”.

Klopp’s Liverpool once again missed out the Premier League title last season, finishing a point behind Guardiola’s City and extended their wait for a domestic crown to 29 years.

Liverpool and City’s transfer spending: Five things to know…

  • City beat Liverpool to the Premier League title last season.
  • But Liverpool won a sixth European crown.
  • Under Guardiola, City have spent over £500m.
  • Liverpool, meanwhile, have spent less than £400m under Klopp.
  • Klopp compared City’s spending to a “fantasy land” but Guardiola has hit back.

And although the Reds spent heavily on the likes of Alisson, Virgil van Dijk and Naby Keita during 2018, they had to sell Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona to help fund those transfers.

Meanwhile, the likes of City, Barcelona and PSG have been able to bring players in without losing any of their big stars, but Guardiola has moved to defend his club’s transfer stance ahead of their Community Shield clash with Liverpool on Sunday.

“It bothers me,” he said. “Of course it bothers me, because it’s not true that we spend £200m in every transfer market.

“That is not true. So it’s Liverpool, you’ll never walk alone, so it’s not a small team. It’s Liverpool.

“So of course I don’t like it, because it’s not true.”

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Guardiola did admit to spending big sums during his formative days at the Etihad but only in a bid to shape the Man City squad into his image, adding that Klopp has done the same thing at Liverpool and that both must follow up with quieter transfer windows.

“Two seasons ago if we spent a lot it’s because I took over the team and we had 10 or 11 players over 30 years old so we had to do it.

“But we cannot spend £200m every season. For example, last season Liverpool spent more than £200m, and cannot do it this season, but it’s the same.

“We bought one player this season and Angelino, who we made a buyback clause and came back with us and that’s a reality.

“Today clubs cannot spend every single season a lot of money. I don’t know about other clubs, but if they can do it, they can do it.

“That’s why Financial Fair Play and something is wrong, clubs that are not correct will be punished. That’s a reality.

“I am not commenting about other managers. They say what they want to say, but I say that is not true.”

The Citizens recently broke their transfer record to bring Spanish midfielder Rodri to Manchester from Atletico Madrid for £62.8m.