Guardiola on Manchester City signings hard to beat Real Madrid Barcelona

Sergio Aguero Manchester City 2018-19

Sergio Aguero Manchester City 2018-19

Guardiola refused to be drawn on the chances of signing the 21-year-old Netherlands worldwide, who could cost around £70 million, but admitted it's hard to take on the La Liga giants.

There have been reports in British newspapers suggesting Wolves' Portuguese midfielder Ruben Neves may be a long-term replacement for Fernandinho, although their roles are slightly different.

"Gündogan played the last two games like a holding midfielder [against Rotherham United and Burton Albion], he had more space than usual - but he was so clever". But of course, for the next season, it's an important target to find. "There are many players, not just one if it doesn't happen". But we can not do it every season. "That is not going to happen", said Guardiola.

Wanderers go into this match off the back of a solid win over Liverpool in the FA Cup last week, and having already held Man City in the Premier League this season, they will head up the M6 high in confidence. The 21-year-old helped Wolves gain promotion after signing from Porto in a £15.8 million deal in the summer of 2017 and the Portugal player has impressed in the top flight this season.

"We realised when we played them in the EFL Cup and in our first away game how complicated it would be", he said.

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. "The point is that majority are under contracts".

"A month ago, I started reading: 'Ruben Neves, £100 million ($129 million, 112 million euros)'".

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Wolves's reported asking price of £100 million is beyond...

"There are players who can play in that role but, specifically Fernandinho's role, it's so hard to find".

Guardiola says De Bruyne has not approached him and says he should knock on his door if he is unhappy.

Simon Bajkowski says Guardiola's biggest selection dilemma is likely to come in midfield.

"You can't judge a player when he plays once and then has three or four games beside me [on the bench]".

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".

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