Pep Guardiola claims Manchester City do not have any more money to spend on players.
City invested heavily ahead of the 2017-18 season, buying players including Kyle Walker, Benjamin Mendy, Ederson and Bernardo Silva, and Guardiola subsequently led the club to the Premier League title by a record-breaking 19 points.
But after the transfer window closed on Thursday, Riyad Mahrez was the sole major arrival at the Etihad Stadium, joining for a reported £60million – a new club record that surpassed the £57m spent on Aymeric Laporte in January.
City were heavily linked with a move for Jorginho but the midfielder opted to follow former Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri to Chelsea instead of joining the champions.
And although the club were reportedly keen to add cover for Fernandinho in defensive midfield before the window closed, Guardiola suggested City’s transfer kitty is empty.
“They [the squad] showed me in two seasons we can trust them so we believe we have a good squad,” Guardiola said at a news conference.
“I said last season many times we cannot spend every season, we spend when we should spend, we had seven or eight players aged 30 or 31 [to replace].
“I’m so happy with the team and I said last season maybe one or two [arrivals], but we don’t have any more money to spend, that is the truth.
“We couldn’t spend more than we could this season, maybe next season we are more active but we have spent a lot on young players for the next season and that’s the reason why.”
Premier League clubs smashed the world-record fee for a goalkeeper twice during the window, with Liverpool bringing in Alisson from Roma before Chelsea moved for Kepa Arrizabalaga in a €80m (£72m) deal to replace Real Madrid-bound Thibaut Courtois.
“The transfer market is the transfer market, the last three or four weeks became incredible – we didn’t expect to pay this for goalkeepers but it is what it is,” Guardiola added. “They spend like we did last season [City paid €40m for Ederson].
“Chelsea decided to buy an excellent goalkeeper for the next six, seven years, the money for selling Courtois they invest in another guy, a young player. I respect and don’t judge – they spend what they can spend with Financial Fair Play.
“So today it is the goalkeepers, before it was the strikers and the number 10s, then the full-backs, now the keepers. So, hopefully next, the managers!”
Although the Premier League’s incoming transfer window is now closed, European giants including Madrid could yet swoop for some of the division’s key players, but Guardiola is satisfied with the decision to shut the window early.
“The ideal situation is [all leagues] finish at the same time but it is what it is,” Guardiola said. “I like to start the first game with players who I’ll have for the season.”