Pep Guardiola claims he is a checkbook manager in scathing attack on critics


Manchester City boss launched a scathing attack on his critics ahead of their Premier League opener against Tottenham

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Pep Guardiola fought against suggestions he was a checkbook boss.

The Manchester City manager has been stung by Jurgen Klopp’s claim he has an unfair advantage in his pursuit of a fourth Premier League title in five seasons thanks to Sheikh Mansour’s billions.

City have broken the UK transfer record by spending £ 100million on Jack Grealish – and expect to break it again by bringing Harry Kane to the Etihad once their explosive season opener at Tottenham on Sunday is negotiated .

Guardiola reminded critics how he built his reputation at Barcelona on the local talents of Lionel Messi, Xavi and Andreas Iniesta.

Pep Guardiola attacks his detractors


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And after a frustrated Klopp suggested the champions were spending beyond their means, the Catalan retaliated by insisting that City’s rivals have owners who are only motivated by the money they make. .

Guardiola said: “I know I had the best player I have ever seen in my life – Lionel Messi – but we won two Champions League in Barcelona with seven players who came from the academy.

“Two finals against (Manchester) United, seven players, no cost, from the academy.

“So the reality is that each club has its own reality, its own story.

“And each owner of each club decides how he wants to live.

“You can win by investing – and investing a lot helped us because we needed players.

“But Liverpool were fighting and fighting and were able to enter the market to spend on two amazing players.

“And they won. They’ve won the Champions League, the Premier League and all the time they’ve been there.

“If they don’t want to spend more now, it may be because they think they don’t need it or because the owners don’t want it.”

City are struggling with the perception that they have failed to adhere to financial fair play rules since winning their appeal against a two-year Champions League ban last year.

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Guardiola has remained steadfast in his belief that the decision to expel City was driven by some of Europe’s biggest clubs.

Manchester United, Barcelona, ​​Real Madrid and Inter Milan are among those clubs which are struggling with massive debts.

And while Barca saw Messi depart for Paris St Germain, their former coach was able to target Grealish and Kane to complete a formidable squad.

Guardiola insists Grealish’s capture was only possible due to Leroy Sane’s £ 60million sale to Bayern Munich last year.

They also racked up £ 35million from selling Angelino, Jack Harrison and Lukas Nmecha this summer, while Manchester United’s capture of Jadon Sancho raised another £ 11million.

Guardiola said: “We have limits for financial fair play and if other clubs don’t agree they can go to court and make a statement – and we will defend ourselves.

“We follow the rules. What has happened is that we have been innocent since 2014.

“We are now in 2020-21 and each season we have moved beyond the control of financial fair play.

“But I say the same thing, there are owners who want benefits for themselves.

“We spend because we can. We don’t spend when we can’t.

“At the end of the day, we have to take stock and say ‘this is what we are, what we have and what we can do. “

Guardiola added: “Years ago when United won a lot of titles and Arsenal won a lot of titles it was because they were spending more money than other clubs. Remember that?

“At that point Man City couldn’t do it because we didn’t have the owners that we have now who want to be in football.

“Now there is Chelsea with (Roman) Abramovich and our club with Sheikh Mansour.

“They want to be in this world, they want to buy into football. What is the problem?

“If we’re wrong, okay, condemn us.”

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