Man City boss Guardiola admits Neves interest: But not at that price

14 January, 2019, 11:11 | Author: Suzanne Horton
  • City v Wolves | Aguero and Kompany update

Pep Guardiola has acknowledged finding a long-term replacement for Fernandinho is becoming a matter of increasing urgency for Manchester City.

However, in his pre-match press conference ahead of Manchester City's crunch match against Wolves on Monday night, Guardiola seemed to rule out any January additions. "Wolves play with two holding midfielders, not just one, but he's an excellent player, an excellent player".

He said: "I'm not talking about the case of the Ajax player because he is an Ajax player. He'll be 34 and he can not play every few days".

A holding midfielder would be a priority for Guardiola because City now have no natural replacement for Fernandinho. He has incredible relationship with the Brazilian guys, like Danilo, Fernandinho, Bernardo, many, many players here.

"The big clubs don't buy big players for just six months, and it important players are not sold in this period". There are many clubs in the world, many holding midfielders in the world, and majority can play here.

"A month ago, I started reading: 'Ruben Neves, £100 million ($129 million, 112 million euros)'".


"Our wage bill for the players is eighth or ninth or 10th in Europe, so there are eight or nine clubs where the wages are higher than what Manchester City pay".

In the meantime, Guardiola will hope Ilkay Gundogan can fill in if needed. The 21-year-old helped Wolves gain promotion after signing from Porto in a £15.8 million deal in the summer of 2017 and the Portugal player has impressed in the top flight this season.

"But of course we cannot substitute the mother and, when the family can't be there, it's hard".

"Gündogan played the last two games like a holding midfielder [against Rotherham United and Burton Albion], he had more space than usual - but he was so clever. That's why they are doing incredibly well in the Premier League".

Guardiola said: "He knows what we want, yes, but it's in our hands". It looks simple but it's not simple.

"I think they know (about competition for places)". But sometimes it doesn't depend on us, you have to pay the club, pay the family and talk with the players, and with the agents, it's nuts.

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