Football News

Pep Guardiola tells rival clubs: ‘Don’t be nervous about Man City’s January transfer plans’

By Harry Edwards

Pep Guardiola

Published: 12:36, 15 September 2019

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has insisted his club will not have the funds to raid rival teams during the January transfer window.

City suffered a shock defeat to Norwich on Saturday evening, with their defence bearing the brunt of the criticism for an indifferent display at Carrow Road.

Will Man City strengthen in January? Five things to know…

  • Manchester City will be without Aymeric Laporte for at least six months.
  • The centre-back suffered a knee injury before the international break which required surgery.
  • As a result, Man City have been linked with signing a new centre-back in January.
  • But Guardiola insists the club do not have the funds to buy another defender.
  • John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi produced error-strewn displays in the 3-2 defeat at Norwich.

John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi both struggled against Daniel Farke’s side, leading to more suggesting that cover for the injured Aymeric Laporte is required.

But despite potentially having to call upon Fernandinho as a centre-back if things get worse before January, Guardiola has eased fears of City targeting rival stars in order to boost their options.

“I don’t think it’s going to happen,” he told reporters prior to his side’s trip to Norwich.

“I heard already we are interested in this player or the other player.

“I would like to say to all the clubs in the world don’t be nervous, because we are not interested in any players or central defenders in Europe.

“We are going to survive with the players we have. Maybe in December we are going to start to think about it, maybe.

“But if we could not invest in this situation in the summer, we cannot do it in winter. That’s why we are going to wait with the players we have, with the two central defenders, with Fernandinho, with Eric Garcia and Taylor Hartwood-Bellis, even some players in different positions we can use there.

“We’re going to move forward.”

Laporte picked up the injury making a tackle in the first half of City’s 4-0 win over Brighton before the international break, and had previously played every minute of the season.

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Guardiola’s faith in Stones to be tested?

Guardiola spoke glowingly about Stones last week, claiming that he had no doubt the England international would prove his worth during Laporte’s spell on the sidelines.

“He’s going to play incredible this period, while Laporte is not with us,” Guardiola said. “He is going to play well. I don’t have any doubts about his quality.”

However, a shaky display against Teemu Pukki and Co may see Guardiola shuffle his pack for the upcoming Champions League group game against Shakhtar Donetsk.

Fernandinho is not a specialist centre-back but could be in contention to start ahead of Stones or Otamendi in Ukraine.