Pep Guardiola name drops Harry Maguire in heated press conference rant about Chelsea's spending
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Pep Guardiola says Manchester City would be "under scrutiny like you would not believe" if they spent the same amount of money as Chelsea.
Since the arrival of Todd Boehly and his ownership group last year, the Blues have spent over £900 million on 28 players, including their £173 million swoop for Moises Caicedo and Romeo Lavia this week.
Other big signings include Mykhailo Mudryk [£88m], Wesley Fofana [£75m], Christopher Nkunku [£56m] and Raheem Sterling [£47.5m] – not to mention the £110 million spent to bring in Argentine midfielder Enzo Fernandez.
Manchester City, meanwhile, have made two summer signings so far, with the most recent arrival, Josko Gvardiol, arriving in a deal worth £77.6 million.
Speaking at a pre-match press conference ahead of their Premier League clash against Newcastle on Saturday, Pep Guardiola decided to highlight Chelsea's much-talked about spending spree.
In fact, he referenced a number of players, including Chelsea defender Marc Cucurella, as examples of transfer targets they did not want to pay the asking price for.
“I couldn’t sit here if we spent what Chelsea spent in the last two transfer windows – you would kill me," he said in the above clip.
“You will kill me, that is for sure. We’d be under scrutiny like you couldn’t imagine. We have to see what happens in the market and if we can do it and to pay what we believe is fair.
“We wanted [Harry] Maguire and didn’t buy him because we didn’t want to pay, we wanted [Marc] Cucurella and didn’t pay, we wanted Alexis Sanchez and didn’t pay.
“In the end we will pay what is fair to do it. Otherwise we have the academy. We won’t be desperate just to get another player."
Guardiola added: "I don’t criticise Chelsea for one second. I’m saying, if we do it, we are dead. All around the world [every club] can do whatever they want.
"I have admiration for Todd [Boehly, the Chelsea co-owner] – I met him. They can do whatever they want.
"If they want to spend, I don’t know, £900m since he arrived, 900 more, 900 more – they have it. The business is the business. They sell a lot this season so they can do it."
◉ 𝘾𝙝𝙚𝙡𝙨𝙚𝙖 - £945.6m— Football Daily (@footballdaily) August 18, 2023
◎ Manchester Utd - £406.6m
◎ Arsenal - £338.5m
◎ Tottenham - £336.8m
◎ Newcastle Utd - £297.3m
◎ West Ham - £259.55m
◎ Liverpool - £251.5m
◎ Manchester City - £224.4m
Premier League spending since Todd Boehly took over Chelsea in May 2022. 💰 pic.twitter.com/jMAPMikXrd
The Spaniard also revealed that City could be forced to replace the injured Kevin De Bruyne this summer. The Belgian midfielder is set to be ruled out for four months after suffering a hamstring injury against Burnley.
"We maybe need to add someone else," Guardiola said. "My opinion is I like a small squad. But the blow from Kevin changes the perspective. He is a very important player and it is not one or two weeks.
"It's four or five months, he's 32 years old and he needs to be physical because of the way he plays physically. So we have to reflect a bit on the squad and think about what we have to do but we have to control.
"But we are not the only ones spending a lot of money in the last few years."