Pep Guardiola: Premier League players £20-£25m more expensive
MANCHESTER -- Pep Guardiola believes that top clubs are forced to pay over the odds for quality players but says the premium is even greater when dealing with Premier League clubs.
The Manchester City boss has spent close to £200 million on new players this summer -- four of which cost more than £40m.
Guardiola had said last season that he wanted more English players at City but he has only added defender Kyle Walker from Tottenham and said the domestic transfer market is even crazier than Europe and the rest of the world.
"When you go to Germany, Spain, Italy to buy -- it happens with United, Chelsea, all the big teams -- it's £10-£15m more expensive. But if you go to England it's £20-£25m more expensive," the Spaniard told a news conference ahead of City's Premier League opener with Brighton & Hove on Saturday.
"Buying from the same league is more difficult. We were able to buy Kyle and there are other English players I'd like to have but we are so happy with what we've done."
City spent around £120m on full-backs alone, with Walker, Danilo and Benjamin Mendy replacing the four full-backs that left in the summer.
All the defenders that left were in their 30s and Guardiola is excited about the energy and speed that his new signings will bring to the squad.
"I have a lot of respect for the players I had, I never complained for one bad game or bad defeat, making excuses, never, even in Germany I never said that, never in my life I make an excuse about what happened," he added.
"Of course now the full-backs are younger, they have energy in their legs and we are going to use them. Kyle is so energetic, Mendy is such an energetic player, and Danilo too."
City's defence will be drastically different to the side that kicked off last season when City beat Sunderland 2-1 in Guardiola's first game in charge. Along with the full-backs, he is likely to start with new goalkeeper Ederson while captain Vincent Kompany is hopeful he has put his persistent injury problems behind him.
Guardiola anticipates that he'll see an improvement in his defence but insists they need to be better at the other end of the pitch too if they are to compete for the Premier League.
"The season that happened wasn't just about what happened in our box. We just made it for 60-70 percent for the chances we created and that's poor," he said.
"Of course we tried to buy good defenders to defend the duels, good situations. It depends on many other circumstances but we've tried to buy good defenders but also creative players and strikers to score more goals."
Jonathan is ESPN FC's Manchester City correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @jonnysmiffy.