Man City had no money for centre-back – Pep


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MANCHESTER, England — Manchester City could not afford to sign a centre-back this summer, according to Pep Guardiola.

The Premier League champions spent more than £120 million in the summer to add Rodri, Joao Cancelo and Angelino to the squad but are facing a defensive crisis if Aymeric Laporte is ruled out with a knee injury.

City tried to replace Vincent Kompany with Harry Maguire but were out-bid for the Leicester defender by Manchester United and Guardiola says the money was not available to add a centre-back to his summer shopping list.

“We could not buy like the opponents,” said Guardiola. “The club works incredibly well in all departments and sometimes we cannot afford it like other teams afford it and that is all.

“We pay a lot of money for a lot of players, that is why we have a depth of squad with huge quality but we cannot do, the club tell me, you have a limit, you cannot go forward.

“Maybe in the future but not now, you cannot do it. I say, ok, you cannot do it so we cannot do it so we are going with what we have.”

Laporte was sent to hospital after being stretchered off during the 4-0 win over Brighton on Saturday. Guardiola is hopeful John Stones will be available after the international break after missing three games with a muscle injury but the Spaniard says he also has the option of deploying Fernandinho or Kyle Walker at centre-back.

“[Fernandinho] needs some processes defensively but he is intelligent and has a lot of experience and we will see,” said Guardiola.

“We will work — unfortunately now we cannot because it is the international break but we are going to work on it.

“During the season it happens and the other guys is going to make a step forward and one day needs to put Kyle Walker like a central defender, he is going to play central defender so we are going to find solutions.”

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