Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has hit back at criticism from Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp about his club’s heavy spending in the transfer market.
£100m-man Jack Grealish is the latest expensive arrival at the Etihad Stadium, and City are also pushing to sign Tottenham striker Harry Kane for closer to the £130m mark – a signing which would take Guardiola’s spending at the club to over £1bn.
Both Chelsea and Manchester United have spent around £100m this summer, whereas Liverpool‘s only summer signing is £36m-man Ibrahima Konate, and Klopp told The Telegraph that he simply could not understand how City’s continued spending can be legal under Financial Fair Play rules.
“We are allowed to spend the money we earn…they obviously don’t have any limits,” Klopp said of City‘s transfer business.
Guardiola was less than impressed with the comments, responding (via the Daily Mail): “Some owners want to benefit, our owners don’t want any benefits. So they don’t invest in the team, while we invest what we can.
“Before there were only one or two clubs. Now there is Chelsea with [Roman] Abramovich and our club with Sheikh Mansour. They want to be buying into football. What is the problem? We have limits for Financial Fair Play and if they don’t agree [with City’s spending] they can go to court and make a statement.
“We bought Jack Grealish because we sold [players] for £60m so in the end we have spent £40m. We follow absolutely the rules. At our club, the owners don’t want to lose money of course but they want to spend, so we can do it.
“Years ago, when Manchester United won a lot of titles, it was because they spent more money than other clubs. Do you remember that? At that moment Man City couldn’t do it because we did not have the owners we have now.”
Instead of criticising City, Guardiola urged Liverpool to take a closer look at themselves and the reasons why their spending has not kept up with the teams around them.
“You can win from investment,” he said. “Liverpool were able to go into the market to spend on two incredible players (Virgil van Dijk and Alisson) and they won the Champions League and Premier League.
“If they don’t want to spend more it’s maybe because they believe they don’t need it or because the owners, they don’t want it. I don’t know. I’m not there.”