Guardiola insists he ‘only needs another £400m’ to fix City defence ​

What's another £64m? And £58.5m. And £51.75m. And £47m...


Manchester City boss Pep  Guardiola has said it “will only take another £400m” to put together a defence that doesn’t leak goals like the Titanic, Paddy Power News understands.

The Sky Blues completed a deal for Benfica centre-half Ruben Dias that brought Guardiola’s spending on defenders to over £400m in his four years as City boss, and the shiny-headed Spaniard is sure he’s getting close to a competent rearguard with the latest investment.

“Ruben will fit in straight away, and, if we buy ten or eleven more defenders, we should eventually find a pair of fullbacks who don’t get nosebleeds when forwards runs at them,” Pep said when announcing the latest City arrival.

“We’ve tried Danilo, Cancelo, Angelino, Mendy, though we’d have been better off with Leonardo, Donatello, Michaelangelo and Raphael the way they’ve played.”

When asked if that means he thinks of himself as Splinter, he quipped, “I know the cardigan makes me look like live in a sewer, but I don’t think it stinks like the Master’s kimono,” before explaining that “if Sheikh Mansour can open his wallet and drop a few more of those £100m notes, and our lawyers put FFP out of its misery for once and for all, there’s no reason we can’t find at least one adequate fullback in the next few years.”

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – MARCH 12: Josep Guardiola, Manager of Manchester City gives his team instructions during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Second Leg match between Manchester City v FC Schalke 04 at Etihad Stadium on March 12, 2019 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

However, the signing of Dias from Benfica does not signal the end of John Stones’ time at the club according to the City boss, as he provided a list of other jobs around the Etihad Stadium the £47.5m defender could do now that his football career is shot.

“John is a good guy. Sure, Ruben, Aymeric, Nathan, Eric and the guys in the under-23s are all ahead of him now, but he can still do a  job for us – like filling the water bottles, or putting out the cones for training.”

“These might seem like little things, but they add up. They make a big contribution – if you get them right. Just like successful passes to your teammates rather than the opposition.

“John hasn’t quite mastered that one, but picking up balls after training, making the tea and slicing the oranges for half-time, that should all be a lot easier.”

“We just won’t mention the time he tried to wash the training kit and it somehow ended up on a long-haul flight to Peru.”

“And if we can get our 27 fans back in the ground, we might even need a steward.”

Pep also revealed that he’d discussed Saturday’s meeting with his tactical mentor Marcelo Bielsa and his Leeds United side, and that the Argentine manager had suggested Guardiola try out a new tactical innovation for the game.


“He has let me in on a secret that could change the game – this could be bigger than the new handball rule!”

“Marcelo said we should try playing without a goalkeeper – it’s genius!”

“I know we did try it before with Claudio Bravo, but this time we could have an extra attacker. It’s inspired.”

“I don’t know how he does it.”


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