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A look at how Pep Guardiola’s ‘impossible’ stance on signing striker has changed

Manchester City v Preston North End – Pre Season Friendly – Academy Stadium
(Image credit: Zac Goodwin)

Pep Guardiola says Manchester City are interested in Harry Kane if Tottenham are willing to negotiate, despite having already paid out a British record £100m for Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish.

That is despite the Spaniard insisting back in April that the market made it “impossible” for the club to compete to sign a striker of Kane’s calibre.

Now City look set to continue their pursuit of the England captain, with Guardiola suggesting sales of fringe and academy players allowed them to afford Grealish and more players could head for the exit door to raise funds for Kane.

Here, the PA news agency looks at Guardiola’s change of stance.

April 2, 2021

Harry Kane has been linked with Manchester City for months

Harry Kane has been linked with Manchester City for months (Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA)

“Listen, with these prices we are not going to sign any striker,” said the City boss, who coped well enough without a specialist centre forward for large parts of the season, with Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus both having fitness problems.

“We are not going to sign any striker, it’s impossible – we cannot afford it. It’s impossible. That’s not going to happen, no.

“All the clubs struggle financially and we are not an exception. We have Gabriel and Ferran (Torres), who played incredible in this position this season.

“We have young players in the academy and we have played many times with a false nine.

“I don’t know what will happen. Maybe we are going to buy one but maybe we are not going to buy any striker for the next season. Today there is more chance we are not going to buy any striker.”

August 6, 2021

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Speaking ahead of the Community Shield match against Leicester, Guardiola said: “When we could spend this money (on Grealish), a lot is because we could sell £60million. We sell young players from the academy and loan players for £60million and when you sell for £60million, it is possible (to spend £100m).

“We spent on him because he is 26 years old (sic), can spend the next six or seven years here and has incredible talent.

“He (Kane) is a player for Tottenham Hotspur and if Tottenham don’t want to negotiate, it is finished.

“I think Man City and many clubs in the world want to try to sign him, we are not an exception, but it depends on Tottenham. We are very interested in him, of course we will try.

“It is different to Jack. He had the release (clause) and Jack is different. Harry is exceptional and we are interested in him but if Tottenham don’t want to negotiate, nothing more to say.”