Pep Guardiola has ruled out paying over the odds for a holding midfielder, despite Manchester City’s growing need to bring in a player to rotate with and eventually replace Fernandinho.
Speaking in the embargoed portion of his Friday press conference, Guardiola brought up the £100 million valuation Ruben Neves, whose Wolves side City face on Monday night.
Pep made it clear that City won’t entertain those sort of price-tags for Neves or any other player of his type.
“A month ago, I started reading ‘Ruben Neves, £100 million’. That is not going to happen,” said Guardiola. “We are not going to pay £100 million for a holding midfielder.
“Specifically Fernandinho’s role, it’s so difficult to find. He knows the Premier League, after three years together here, he knows everything and that’s so important. But of course, for the next season, it’s an important target to find. He’ll be 34 and cannot play every few days.”
The City boss also spoke of the need to maintain stability with the wage structure. Rival clubs have seen problems from caving in to the wage demands of a single player, which often leads to discord with others in the squad wanting pay rises.
“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. We try to be stable in everything.”