Guardiola: If De Bruyne has a problem, he knows where I am

Nuno Espirito Santo

Pep Guardiola believes it's hard for Manchester City to beat Real Madrid or Barcelona in the transfer market.

'It would be a dream, everyone is invited, ' Guardiola said.

City - who are second in the Premier League behind Liverpool ahead of Monday's clash against Wolves - have also been linked with Ruben Neves to provide cover for holding midfielder Fernandinho.

"There are many holding midfielders in the world".

"Sometimes we need a more defensive role like Stones or for last two games with Gundogan, when we need a creative player in that position in the final third", Guardiola added. "There are [players] but a lot of them are under contract", Guardiola said. "I think it won't be a problem for the next months". That is not going to happen. That is not going to happen, we are not going to pay £100m for a holding midfielder.

"All departments in the club have four, five, six options in every position".

City twice broke their club transfer record last year with the signings of Aymeric Laporte last January for £57m and Riyad Mahrez last summer for £60m and Guardiola admits that level of investment isn't achievable every year, even with the financial backing of owner Sheikh Mansour.

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"The club's most expensive [signing] was Riyhad [Mahrez, at £60m] and he is far away from what the top teams pay". 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 Manchester City pay.

"We try to be stable".

"We realised that last season in Carabao Cup, we saw how complicated they are", he said. He'll be 34 and he can not play every few days. I am in touch with the CEO [Ferran Soriano], we have a limit.

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

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.

"The big clubs don't buy big players for just six months, and it important players are not sold in this period". Especially if it is Real Madrid and Barcelona. "We know it's going to be hard when you see the other teams in the league but we know we can achieve it if we are focused and concentrate".

"You have to be quicker and more efficient".

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