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Pep Guardiola has revealed the only business Manchester City are planning for the summer transfer window is to find a midfield replacement for Yaya Toure and perhaps buy another forward.
The Spanish manager has spent over £450 million on signings since taking over at City in 2016 and admitted that the Sky Blues’ Premier League success in 2017-18 was a result of that investment. But he said such lavish spending will now be curbed, in part because City can’t afford it, per Sky Sports (via Daniel Matthews of MailOnline):
“When people say, ‘they won because they invested a lot,’ they are right. We invested a lot of money, we are gong to invest less in the future because instead of doing it in two or three transfer markets, we did it in one. But we needed to because of the [squad’s average] age we had before.
“Yaya is leaving so we have to replace him and maybe another one. One or two, no more, maybe people don’t believe me but we don’t have the money to invest £300 million every season.
“[The other] maybe in front but I don’t know exactly. I have to think more, speak to [director of football] Txiki [Begiristain] and the staff about it more because there are four competitions and it’s tougher. We need new faces to compete with the guys from this season.“
City won the Premier League by 19 points to Manchester United—with Guardiola being rewarded with the manager of the season title by the Premier League—breaking numerous records in the process:
Manchester City @ManCity
Player. Team. Club. All the records that tumbled in a remarkable season! 🔥
#CENTURIONS #mancity https://t.co/cN5YhCgJc1
They will be heavy favourites to win the title again in 2018-19, but historically even the best sides have found it tough to defend the Premier League.
The last side to win it in consecutive seasons was United, who claimed three in a row under Sir Alex Ferguson between 2007 and 2009.
Premier League @premierleague
Congratulations, Pep Guardiola!
@ManCity’s boss is the @BarclaysFooty Manager of the Season for 2017/18 👏
Not since City came second to Chelsea in 2014-15 have the defending champions even finished in the top four.
Chelsea’s 2014-15 champions ended up coming 10th in 2015-16, while that season’s title winners, Leicester City, finished 12th the following season.
And Antonio Conte’s Blues could only finish fifth this term, 30 points behind City, after winning the 2016-17 title by seven points.
So dominant were City in winning the title this term that it seems unlikely they will suffer such a significant drop off next season.
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But they do need to legislate for the fact that every other side in the Premier League is likely to strengthen over the summer, especially United, their closest rivals from 2017-18.
According to Simon Jones of the Mail on Sunday, City are targeting a £110 million double swoop for Napoli midfielder Jorginho and Leicester’s Riyad Mahrez which, based on Guardiola’s comments, could constitute their entire summer expenditure.
Winger Mahrez has been on City’s radar for some time, while Italian Jorginho, 26, would be a superb replacement for Toure and has the skill set to fit well into Guardiola’s system.