Man City seek signing to replace injured De Bruyne - Guardiola



Posted Saturday, August 19, 2023 by ESPN

Man City seek signing to replace injured De Bruyne - Guardiola

Manchester City will dip into the transfer market to replace Kevin De Bruyne, according to Pep Guardiola.

The Belgium midfielder has been ruled out until the new year after undergoing surgery to fix a hamstring injury.

City have spent more than £100 million ($127.3m) on Mateo Kovacic and Josko Gvardiol this summer but Guardiola says De Bruyne's long lay-off means more new players are necessary.

"We are talking a lot with [director of football] Txiki [Begiristain] about what we have to do, maybe we need to add someone else," Guardiola told a news conference on Friday.

"My opinion is I like a small squad. But the blow from Kevin changes the perspective.

"He is a very important player and it is not one or two weeks. It's four or five months. So we have to reflect a bit on the squad, and think about what we have to do."

As well as a new midfielder, City are also looking for another winger to replace Riyad Mahrez, who joined Al Ahli in a £30m deal.

Rennes forward Jeremy Doku is one option but Guardiola insists City will not overpay for targets, even with the clock ticking down to the Sep. 1 deadline.

"We have to see what happens in the market and if we can do it and to pay what we believe is fair," said Guardiola.

"We wanted [Harry] Maguire and didn't buy him because we didn't want to pay, we wanted [Marc] Cucurella and didn't pay, we wanted Alexis Sanchez and didn't pay. In the end we will pay what is fair to do it. Otherwise we have the academy."

Chelsea are this summer's biggest spenders, splashing close to £350m ($445.7m) on new players in this window.

The £53m deal agreed with Southampton for midfielder Romeo Lavia has taken their transfer outlay to nearly £1bn in the last year -- something Guardiola says City would be heavily criticised for if they had done the same thing.

"For Chelsea it's easier than us, for sure," he said

"I couldn't sit here if we spent what Chelsea spent in the last two transfer windows, you would kill me. You will kill me, that is for sure. We'd be under scrutiny like you couldn't imagine."

"They can do what they want. I don't criticise Chelsea for one second. I'm saying, if we do it, we are dead, all around the world. They can do whatever they want."

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