Guardiola tight-lipped over hijacking move for Mbappe

LOS ANGELES • Pep Guardiola has confirmed that Manchester City are "still looking" to add to their £200 million (S$355.21 million) summer spending spree, although he refused to comment on the possibility of hijacking Real Madrid's move for Kylian Mbappe.

City have been the major shoppers in the transfer market after splashing out a Premier League record total of £200 million to bring Benjamin Mendy, Bernardo Silva, Kyle Walker, Ederson, Danilo and Douglas Luiz to the Etihad.

It remains likely that they will continue their haul after being strongly linked with moves for Monaco's teenage striker Mbappe and Arsenal frontman Alexis Sanchez.

Mbappe has been on City's radar throughout the summer, although there have been strong suggestions in Spain that Real have agreed a fee of £160 million for the 18-year-old.

Ahead of this morning's (Singapore time) International Champions Cup encounter against Real in Los Angeles, Guardiola was not being drawn on transfer rumours.

"They are Monaco and Arsenal players, so nothing to say," he said.

"Anything can happen - but he (Mbappe) is still on that team."

But he did confirm that City were still looking at options in the market - without saying whether another striker was on the agenda.

"We have the two exceptional forwards in Gabriel (Jesus) and Sergio (Aguero)," he said. "We will see. The market finishes on August 31. We will see until the end of the transfer window."

Mendy became City's latest signing earlier this week when the left back arrived from Monaco in a £52 million deal.

The 23-year-old is still about two weeks away from featuring in a City shirt due to injury, but Guardiola is delighted to have brought in a defender who made such an impression in the Champions League last season.

"He can attack inside and outside," the City manager said. "He's a young player so sometimes you have to pay a bit more for them."

Bringing in younger players at the back was clearly on Guardiola's mind this summer after jettisoning the 30-something quartet of Pablo Zabaleta, Gael Clichy, Bacary Sagna and Aleksandar Kolarov to bring in fellow full-backs Mendy, Danilo (26) and Walker (27).

City spent £130 million on that trio alone, yet Guardiola believes they will offer long-term value for money.

"We decided to make the squad younger and we tried to get the best full-backs possible," he said.

"Dani Alves was free but decided to go to Paris. Kyle, Mendy and Danilo were the best options we had."


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 27, 2017, with the headline 'Guardiola tight-lipped over hijacking move for Mbappe'. Print Edition | Subscribe