City would be 'killed' for spending as much as Chelsea, says Guardiola

AFP / Aris Messins

Manchester City's transfer spending is judged differently than other clubs, arguing they would be "killed" if they spent as much money on new signings as Chelsea has over the last year, according to manager Pep Guardiola.

City's spending has been scrutinised since Abu Dhabi's Sheikh Mansour became owner in 2008. The club is facing 115 charges brought by the Premier League for alleged breaches of financial regulations.

Chelsea has spent more than $1 billion in player transfer fees since the new ownership led by Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital completed their takeover of the club in May 2022.

"We'd be under scrutiny like you couldn't imagine," Guardiola told reporters on Friday. "I couldn't sit here if we spent what Chelsea spent in the last two transfer windows - you would kill me.

"We have to see what happens in the market and if we can do it and to pay what we believe is fair... In the end, we will pay what is fair to do it. Otherwise, we have the academy."

City signed defender Josko Gvardiol earlier this month, while midfielder Mateo Kovacic joined in June, with the transfer fees reported to be 90 million euros ($97.79 million) and 25 million pounds ($32 million), respectively.

Chelsea have brought in eight players so far. Midfielder Romeo Lavia arrived on Friday for a reported fee of 53 million pounds, their second signing of the week after Moises Caicedo joined for a fee which could rise to a British record 115 million pounds.

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

"If they want to spend, I don't know, 900 million pounds since (Boehly) arrived, 900 more, 900 more - they have it. The business is the business. They sell a lot this season, so they can do it."

City began their Premier League title defence with a 3-0 win at Burnley last week. They host Newcastle United on Saturday.

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