Pep Guardiola is crying foul, and he’s here to tell us all about it.
England are set to face Denmark this evening in the Euro 2020 semi-finals. Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane will be at the top of the formation for Gareth Southgate’s men as they try to book their place in the final against Italy on Sunday. While we’re focused on that tournament, the ongoing saga that is the Harry Kane Transfer Special is taking a slightly weird turn thanks to Manchester City’s manager.
Evening Standard writer Alex Young wrote up a piece this morning discussing Guardiola’s appearance on Catalan network TV3. While a couple of topics were brought up, the primary topic was Kane and if City would try to bring him in after the Euros. The response is....well, hilarious:
An exasperated Guardiola says it is “impossible” for City to buy a striker this summer, with the manager ready to stick with what he has.
“At the prices (quoted) we are not going to buy any strikers,” Guardiola told Catalan network TV3. “It is impossible, we cannot afford it.
“All clubs are struggling financially, we are not an exception. We have Gabriel (Jesus) and Ferran (Torres) who have been incredible in this position.
“We have young players in the academy and we play many times with a false nine. There is more of a chance we aren’t going to buy a striker for next season.”
Before I get into the first part of those quotes, Pep is right that Jesus and Torres have been incredible, at times. The problem for Pep is that Jesus has fallen off a cliff for City and Torres is a winger, not a striker.
Now you can’t see it, but I am currently playing the world’s smallest violin for Pep and Manchester City. Clubs are certainly struggling financially, but if there’s one club that is well-equipped to handle the pandemic, it’s Manchester City and their ownership, City Football Group. This is your friendly reminder that Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the founder of Abu Dhabi United Group and CFG, is worth $22bn.
What I’m trying to say, and what we all know, is that Manchester City essentially have unlimited funds. We also know that FFP is toothless and City have proven that in the past. The financial struggles that Guardiola talks about didn’t prevent City Football Group from purchasing center back Ruben Dias from Benfica for £61m during the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic either.
There’s also this little gem that Young brings up in the article, and we know City are going to be all in next summer on this:
Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland is another widely linked with moves across Europe, though is available for a cut-price fee of around £75m next summer.
In short, this is hilariously rich from Pep. It’s also posturing in the dumbest way. Nobody in their right mind in the world of football believes for a second that City are broke. While we know that Barcelona and Real Madrid are in dire straits right now and desperate to offload wages (especially Barcelona), City are not in the same yacht. We know City are going to try again for Kane once the Euros are done. Levy is standing pat on that £150m valuation, and if Kane leads England to victory over the next two matches and bags a few goals in the process, it will be near impossible to talk him down from that price tag.
Guardiola can cry about the price all he wants, but nobody should feel bad for him at all. He’s in arguably the best possible place as a manager and this kind of whining is going to fall on deaf ears. If Pep wants Kane, he’ll go to ownership and tell them to buy him. He couldn’t care less about the cost.