EPL: Guardiola speaks on Manchester City paying £100m for Wolves' star midfielder

Ross Houston
January 14, 2019

"If you have no injuries and you are satisfied, like in our case, with your players and your squad you have, we decided, going well or going bad, to go with the players we had at the start of the season".

Without actually naming Frenkie de Jong, when he was asked about City's interest in the Dutch midfielder he skewed off in an interesting direction.

"Fernandinho's role, it's so hard to find [a similar player]", he added.

They are, however, taking things one game at a time and not expecting to deliver four pieces of silverware before the end of the season.

"I hope towards the end of the season we get a title run-in", said the former Manchester United and England captain in the Gary Neville podcast. Before tonight's Premier League match against Wolves at the Etihad Stadium, Guardiola emphasised that this summer City must sign an adequate alternative to Fernandinho, the holding midfielder who turns 34 in May.

"If you are the only one who want players it's easy".

He said: "He's an excellent player".

"That's not going to happen".

Rui Patricio and Matt Doherty were both among the players who did not feature against the Reds last Monday, and the pair should take their place in the starting line up in this match.

"The system at Wolves involves playing with two holding midfielders, not just one". He can play that holding midfield role. Of course, all departments in the club, we have in every position four or five or six options - depending on age, what we believe and, of course, the price.

Despite the likelihood of losing out on De Jong, Guardiola has no qualms over the work being done by City director of football Txiki Begiristain and his team to bring in top-class players.

"But privately in the green room with Jamie Carragher I have been saying, 'Your lot can win this, they are capable of winning it, they look like a team that can do it'".

"I am in touch quite often with Txiki, especially, because he is close to my door. We put our standards high", he says.

"You have to pay the club, pay the family and talk with the players, and with the agents, it's nuts".

Their arrival in Manchester before Christmas coincided with an upturn in the forward's form, and Guardiola said: "The private life is the private life and if they need something we are there. It's complicated, so, so complicated".

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