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

Man City possible XI

Pep Guardiola Hints at a Dry January Transfer Window for Manchester City Despite Shaky Form

In a squad that possesses such strength in depth, the Brazilian's position is perhaps an area of weakness.

Guardiola says last season's Carabao Cup game between the two sides offered all the evidence he needed to know how strong they are.

"Our wage bill for the players is eighth or ninth or tenth in Europe, so there are eight or nine clubs where the wages are higher than what Manchester City pay". 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. There are many clubs in the world, many holding midfielders in the world, and majority can play here.

"The club's most expensive [signing] was Riyhad [Mahrez, at £60m] and he is far away from what the top teams pay". But we can not do it every season.

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".

Overall, the City boss appeared pessimistic.

De Bruyne has managed only 194 minutes of top-flight action this season after missing only one Premier League game last term. You have to be quicker and more efficient. The club knows it will be more expensive for everybody and it is what it is.

"The big clubs don't buy big players for just six months, and it important players are not sold in this period".

Guardiola said he had not spoken to Kevin De Bruyne after the Belgium worldwide went straight down the tunnel after being substituted in the 9-0 Carabao Cup thrashing of Burton Albion.

He said: "I'm not talking about the case of the Ajax player because he is an Ajax player".

"The system at Wolves involves playing with two holding midfielders, not just one".

"No, I didn't speak with him", Guardiola said. I hope they will be ready'.

The manager said City would do everything they can to help Gabriel Jesus after close relatives including his mother, Vera Lucia Diniz de Jesus, returned to Brazil.

"If he has a problem he knows where I am, so I don't know, really. It's complicated, so so complicated".

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