Man City boss Guardiola: January market can be good opportunity

Man City possible XI

Man City possible XI

Pep Guardiola says Manchester City have their financial limits in the transfer market, even when trying to solve the dilemma of a replacement for Fernandinho.

Guardiola does not appear to have a deputy of the same quality - John Stones, normally a centre-back, struggled in the role when Crystal Palace won at the Etihad Stadium on December 22, while Ilkay Gundogan has not been entirely convincing either.

City are prepared to pay about £70 million all told for De Jong but face serious competition from front-runners Barcelona and Paris St-Germain for the 21-year-old Netherlands midfielder. When you are exhausted in the last minutes, they put on new players.

"Fernandinho's role, it's so hard to find [a similar player]", he added.

Guardiola is unsure whether the Premier League champions can wedge in a trip given their hectic schedule.

Guardiola said he had not spoken to Kevin De Bruyne after the Belgium global went straight down the tunnel after being substituted in the 9-0 Carabao Cup thrashing of Burton Albion. But, of course, for the next season it's an important target to find.

Manchester City's official Twitter page quoted Guardiola, saying: "The big clubs don't buy players for six months".

Guardiola has ruled out making any new signings in the January transfer window but says a new holding midfielder will be a priority for the start of next season.

"There are many holding midfielders in the world. There are [players] but a lot of them are under contract", Guardiola said.

"That is why we did it but we can not do it every season". That is not going to happen, we are not going to pay £100 million for a holding midfielder.

"Sometimes we have done it but normally when you want to buy a player it's for five or six years and that doesn't normally happen in this window".

Guardiola did not reference De Jong but conceded City face a hard task beating Barca and Madrid when it comes to transfers.

"I am in touch quite often with Txiki, especially, because he is close to my door".

Jimenez added: "Maybe the "smaller" sides know we are a very hard team to beat so they wait at the back of the pitch - that's when we have some problems".

"You have to pay the club, pay the family and talk with the players, and with the agents, it's nuts".