Football: Guardiola delighted with Bernardo bargain

Bernardo Silva speaks with manager Pep Guardiola. PHOTO: REUTERS

MANCHESTER, United Kingdom (AFP) - Pep Guardiola has suggested that he got a bargain when he signed Bernardo Silva, arguing that he would be even more expensive to sign now.

Silva, the playmaker signed from Monaco in a deal worth £43 million (S$75 million), has looked promising in his two substitute appearances so far.

Guardiola has spent more money than any other Premier League manager during this summer's transfer window, with an outlay of around £220 million.

More than £120 million of that money has been spent on full-backs, with Benjamin Mendy costing £52 million from Monaco, Kyle Walker £50 million from Tottenham, and Danilo £26.5 million from Real Madrid.

Nonetheless, Guardiola is convinced that he has done good business.

He said: "Everyone who makes a deal would like to do it in two minutes. But sometimes the clubs take their time, they make their strategy to earn more money and it's normal.

"In that moment we decided to do that, so I think Bernardo would be more expensive now. Maybe not just Bernardo, maybe Kyle, maybe Mendy or maybe others would be more expensive now.

"It is difficult in the transfer market now but it was difficult before. You have to spend more money to buy the players right now - not just Manchester City, all the clubs.

"I think there are a lot of clubs with players who are not going to play and they are looking for the best solution."

City have had a mixed start to the season, beating Brighton before drawing with Everton, and Guardiola has expressed concerns that his team are not being clinical enough.

The manager saw his team score just once against Everton from 19 efforts at goal, suggesting that last season's failure to make dominance count is once again proving an issue.


Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero both missed good chances against Ronald Koeman's side on Monday night before Raheem Sterling's equaliser saved a point, with Guardiola seeking a more ruthless touch.

He said: "I'm concerned. We have guys who can score goals. I never will doubt Sergio and Gabriel. Even Kevin (de Bruyne) is a guy who scored 12 to 15 goals last season and made 21, I think.

"We played with 10 men against 11 for more than 50 minutes when we faced Everton, and you saw how many chances were created.

"We had chances against one of the best defensive teams in the Premier League. We created enough to win the game, even with 10 men, but we weren't able to score.

"It's a little bit like last season. We are going to try to find the chance to be confident, and one day it is going to click, and we are going to score goals."

Guardiola has indicated that he sees Sterling as the solution to Manchester City's goalscoring troubles.

Sterling, who scored in three of City's four pre-season matches, could flourish as a number 10 behind either Jesus or Aguero, according to the manager.

He played as a winger last season but was converted into a central role during City's summer tour of the United States.

"He is so dangerous in that position," Guardiola said.

"I like him to sit there closer to the middle, because he commits the central defenders, he is so aggressive in the small spaces.

"In the last four or five games, including pre-season, he scored nearly a goal per game. I hope the goal he scored in the last game can help his confidence. Because with a goal, he is confident."

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