Ahead of the Community Shield on Sunday, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has admitted that he is ‘bothered’ by the claim from Jurgen Klopp that the Etihad club can spend however much they like.
The comments come after City’s chief operating officer Omar Berrada hit back at Klopp earlier today.
Neither Guardiola nor Berrada would be happy with the suggestion City can spend what they like, because that downplays the role that each of them have, but it is a surprise that both have reacted so strongly to the claims in public.
City can indeed spend a lot more than most, which is what Klopp was getting at with his original comments. The German meant nothing more than that, and it seemed at the time to be a very simple statement that would require little examination.
However, according to the Guardian, the ex-Barcelona manager said: “Of course it bothers me, because it’s not true. It’s Liverpool – ”You’ll Never Walk Alone’ – so it’s not a small team. It’s Liverpool.
“Of course I don’t like it because it’s not true. Last season we spent £17 million [net] – one seven – on just one player.
“Two seasons ago, when we spent a lot, it was because I took over a team of 10-11 players over 30 so you have to do it. But we cannot spend £200m every season like, for example, Liverpool spent more than £100m last season but cannot do it this season.”
It seems like the rivalry between the Reds and City is set to continue into the new season, with both set to compete for the Premier League title once again. Sunday’s game at Wembley could well be a tasty encounter.