Guardiola wants 'three or four' signings but rules out Sanchez alternative
Pep Guardiola wants to make "three or four" signings in 2018 but has ruled out bringing a new striker to Manchester City in January, despite missing out on Alexis Sanchez to Manchester United.
Sanchez appears poised to move to Old Trafford in a reported £35million deal, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan apparently set to move the other way and join Arsenal.
The Chile star had looked likely to sign for City, having come close to joining the Premier League leaders in August, but their interest is said to have cooled after United agreed to match his agent's demands.
Guardiola admits he wants to strengthen his squad further but is only likely to bring in new players at the end of the season, and he insists he is happy to continue with Sergio Aguero, Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling as his options in a central attacking role for the rest of 2017-18.
85 - Since his debut in August 2014, only Harry Kane (108) & Sergio Agüero (100) have had a hand in more Premier League goals than Alexis Sánchez (85 - 60 goals, 25 assists). Omitted. #BOUARS pic.twitter.com/zVma0TtF5r
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 14, 2018
"We decide players on how they can improve the squad. We can still improve. We saw it last Sunday [in a 4-3 defeat to Liverpool]," he told a news conference.
"We need to anticipate it now. We feel we need to invest in the summer, with three or four. If we do it now, we do it for the summer.
"We have the two strikers and we do not need another one in that position. Other players can play there in different circumstances. To buy a striker who can only play there: that is not going to happen.
"He [Sterling] can play there. He did at Old Trafford and in the States in pre-season. He showed me that he can handle that pressure without problems. He's more of a winger, a number 10, but we are not going to buy a striker."
Guardiola made it clear he is happy with City's refusal to increase their offer to Sanchez and his entourage, while maintaining huge spending last year was needed to overhaul the squad.
"The market is the market. The problem is we had to spend a lot to change the oldest squad in the Premier League. That doesn't happen in one transfer window. We need more time," he said.
— Manchester City (@ManCity) January 19, 2018
"I've never put pressure on a club when they believe it is too much. Immediately I accept that decision and move forward to find another solution. The stability of the club is the most important thing.
"We have spent a lot of money, I'm not denying it, because we had to change a lot of players because we were so old in terms of the players who in the past were amazing. That's why we did it.
"When Man United, Liverpool and the other clubs in Europe do what they do, I respect. I never say anything because they know the reality.
"It's true when Manchester City and Abu Dhabi took over the team, in that period they spent a lot.
"But the most expensive player is Kevin De Bruyne and when you see now the reality, a lot of clubs spend much more for one or two players.
"We did the same for the amount of money for four, five or six players. In the end what we spent in the summer is quite similar to United, but they bought I think two or three players and we bought six or seven."