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We could not afford Harry Maguire, claims Pep Guardiola

We could not afford Harry Maguire, claims Pep Guardiola

04/08/2019 at 17:02Updated 04/08/2019 at 18:41

Pep Guardiola has admitted that Manchester City refused to pay asking price for England defender Harry Maguire, who is expected to confirm his move to Manchester United in the next 24 hours.

Guardiola's side picked up the first domestic silverware of the season by beating Liverpool on penalties to claim the Community Shield with their own summer signing Rodri in the starting line-up.

But City have been nowhere near the biggest spenders in the Premier League this summer with the Spanish boss suggesting they were not able to compete with the bid of their Manchester rivals, who will reportedly pay £80 million for the centre-back, a world-record fee for a defender.

"Harry Maguire is a top-class central defender," Guardiola said.

"We were interested, but we could not afford it. United can afford it.

Harry Maguire of Leicester looks on during the Pre-Season Friendly match between Stoke City and Leicester City at the Bet365 Stadium on July 27, 2019 in Stoke on Trent, England

Harry Maguire of Leicester looks on during the Pre-Season Friendly match between Stoke City and Leicester City at the Bet365 Stadium on July 27, 2019 in Stoke on Trent, EnglandGetty Images

"He has all the qualities to work for United. Congratulations to United.”

Maguire was photographed arriving at Manchester United's Carrington training ground earlier today before driving away again with a club-branded carrier bag in the back seat, suggesting the deal is on the verge of being confirmed.

And Guardiola has predicted that the spending would not go amiss, suggesting that United would be a threat to the Champions League places again.

"United will be back, Arsenal, Tottenham, Chelsea...I don't know what will happen," Guardiola added.

Manchester City's Belgian midfielder Kevin De Bruyne gestures during the English FA Community Shield football match between Manchester City and Liverpool at Wembley Stadium in north London on August 4, 2019

Manchester City's Belgian midfielder Kevin De Bruyne gestures during the English FA Community Shield football match between Manchester City and Liverpool at Wembley Stadium in north London on August 4, 2019Getty Images

Guardiola meanwhile was glad of the opportunity for players to be reminded of exactly what they will be up against in less than a week's time.

"It was a good test for both teams. It's nice for the players to realise what they will face this season," Guardiola also said.

"At this level the difference is nothing. One penalty, one point."

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