Guardiola laments expense of English players

Guardiola takes blame for Man City exit
United Bank for Africa

Pep Guardiola has indicated he will look to Europe and beyond for new Manchester City players this summer because English talent costs too much.

Guardiola has signed eight players since becoming City’s manager last July but only one was produced in England, reflecting a larger issue in the Premier League — the small pool of homegrown players.

Defender John Stones cost £47.5 million from Everton in August, making him significantly more expensive than exciting Brazil centre-forward Gabriel Jesus, brought in from Palmeiras for a “mere” £27 million.

Guardiola believes there is a premium on Englishmen in the Premier League that is preventing him from fielding more homegrown players.

“I would like to have all English players, people don’t believe me, but they are so expensive,” the Spaniard told a news conference on Tuesday. “I would like to play with them.

“When I was at Barcelona I liked to field local players because they feel something special for the club, but sometimes it is not possible.”

However, Guardiola — who in between his Barcelona and City stints managed Bayern Munich — added: “The market is the market.

“That is why the club has worked with the academy for a long time to be thinking about the next years -– with me or without me. I hope with me.

“I would like to enjoy working with the four or five guys who are growing and play them.”