Manchester City: Jurgen Klopp’s insinuation about spending ‘bothers’ Pep Guardiola

Pep Guardiola
Pep Guardiola has spent over £550m (gross) since taking charge of Manchester City in 2016

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola says Jurgen Klopp’s insinuation the champions are spending their way to success “bothers” him.

Klopp’s Liverpool side meet City in the Community Shield at Wembley on Sunday.

In July, Klopp said Liverpool “were not in fantasia land” where they could buy who they wanted – unlike City, Paris St-Germain, Real Madrid and Barcelona.

“Of course [Klopp’s suggestion] bothers me. It’s not true that we spent £200m every window,” said Guardiola.

“I don’t like it. Last summer we spent £17m on just one player.”

Sunday’s match is the renewal of a growing rivalry that produced one of the most compelling Premier League title battles last term, when City came from behind to beat Brighton on the final day of the season to reach 98 points, edging Liverpool, who finished on 97.

Since then, City have paid a club record £62.8m to Atletico Madrid for midfielder Rodri and £5.3m to bring defender Angelino back from PSV Eindhoven a year after selling him.

They also paid Colombus Crew about £7m for USA goalkeeper Zack Steffen, who has been loaned to German club Fortuna Düsseldorf.

In contrast, Liverpool have only spent £1.7m on Sepp van den Berg from Dutch club Zwolle.

Guardiola’s comments do require some context. Firstly, at no stage did Klopp mention a figure when he spoke to journalists on the club’s pre-season tour of the United States.

Secondly, City paid a club record £60m to sign Riyad Mahrez in July 2018. However, the net figure is reduced if sales such as goalkeeper Angus Gunn to Southampton for £13.5m and Brahim Diaz to Real Madrid for £22m are taken into account.

In that same season Liverpool spent £172m on four players six months after their £75m outlay on Virgil van Dijk, a world record fee for a defender at the time.

But the Reds’ net spend last term was £138m, and they made a £67.5m profit 12 months earlier largely because of the £142m sale of Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona.

“We cannot spend £200m every season,” said Guardiola.

“Two seasons ago when we spent a lot it was because I took over a team with 10 or 11 players aged 30 or over. I had to do it.

“Liverpool spent more than £200m last season and can’t do it again this season so it’s the same. We bought one player Rodri this summer and paid the buyback clause for Angelino and that is the reality. So today clubs cannot spend every single season spending a lot of money.

“I’m not on the comments of other managers because they say what they want. Only I can say that is not true.”

Juventus coach Maurizio Sarri
Sarri signed a three-year deal at Juventus this summer

Former Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri is being treated for pneumonia.

The 60-year-old Juventus coach spent Monday morning at the Italian club having missed a weekend friendly against Triestina because of what was initially thought to be flu.

After feeling unwell, further tests diagnosed pneumonia and Juve confirmed treatment had begun.

Juventus visit Parma for their opening Serie A match on Saturday and it is not clear if Sarri will be in charge.

The veteran Italian joined Chelsea from Napoli in July 2018 and won the Europa League with the west London club during his one season at Stamford Bridge.

He succeeded compatriot Massimiliano Allegri at Juventus in June.

Jose Mourinho and Mauricio Pochettino
Jose Mourinho has taken over from Mauricio Pochettino as Tottenham head coach

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is prepared for the “circus” that will accompany Jose Mourinho’s return to the Premier League.

Eleven months after being sacked by United, Mourinho returns to the dugout at the London Stadium on Saturday when his new Tottenham side play West Ham.

Spurs limited access to Mourinho’s first news conference on Thursday and turned away scores of journalists.

“Jose coming back is going to be a spectacle,” said Solskjaer.

The Norwegian had a glimpse of what was coming when he saw a television broadcast before Friday’s news conference to preview Sunday’s trip to Sheffield United, where it was made clear journalists would be asking about Mourinho, and the availability of the man he replaced at Spurs, Mauricio Pochettino, who has long-been viewed as a potential United boss.

Solskjaer tried to take command of the situation before he was even asked a question.

“Sorry to disappoint you but it is not going to be about Jose or Mauricio,” he said.

Nevertheless, three of Solskjaer’s first six answers were about those two, with a further question at the end about midfielder Nemanja Matic liking a social media post which suggested a further reunion with Mourinho – who has previously bought the Serbian when he was in charge at Chelsea and United.

“It’s good to have Jose back, especially for you guys,” said Solskjaer. “Maybe for me as well because you can talk and write about everything else.”

Tottenham’s trip to Old Trafford for a Premier League game on 4 December will provide an unavoidable link between Solskjaer and the man he replaced, initially on a temporary basis, in the middle of last season.

Pochettino’s name will be a longer lasting distraction.

The Argentine is favourite to be the next United boss and while club sources have repeatedly stressed how they view Solskjaer as a long-term appointment, any negative result is bound to be followed by suggestions the man who took Tottenham to last season’s Champions League final should be appointed in the Norwegian’s place.

Yet Solskjaer said: “It doesn’t bother me at all because I’ve got the best job in the world.

“I am sure if you are in or out of a job and you are a manager, you would want this job, so it doesn’t really matter whatever happens around it.

“I’ve got to focus on my job at Manchester United and do it as well as I can. I speak with Ed (Woodward) and the owners all the time about how we are going to move the club forward.

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