Pep Guardiola claims he would go to court to defend Manchester City’s £100million signing of Jack Grealish.
City completed the British record acquisition of Grealish on Thursday after triggering a release clause in his contract at Aston Villa.
The size of the fee immediately raised eyebrows in some quarters over how the Premier League champions, who continue to be linked with another big-money move for Harry Kane were remaining compliant with Financial Fair Play regulations.
Guardiola explained City have raised close to £60million in sales of fringe and Academy players recently, a figure which includes an £11million bonus from a sell-on clause activated by Manchester United’s purchase of Jadon Sancho.
The City boss said: “We have spent £40million pounds – 100 we paid and 60 we won last year. Without the 60million we could not afford it and we are more than delighted.
“We did it because we can do it. If people are not sure about it, we can go to the court and we’ll defend it. We did it perfectly.”
England international Grealish has signed a six-year contract at the Etihad Stadium. The 25-year-old had become one of the hottest properties in the English game as a result of his inspirational performances at Villa.
Guardiola has been a long-time admirer of the player.
Asked when he first thought he would like to sign him, the Spaniard said at a press conference: “Years ago, when I saw him for the first time – but then it wasn’t possible. You have the squad and we had to invest in other parts as those parts were weaker.
“But especially when I saw him on TV. I said, ‘That guy controls the tempo’.
“I love when he has the ball. He stops before the dribble and all the opponents stop as well. He controls the tempo and rhythm when he accelerates and decelerates the action.
“Then especially when I played against him – the physicality, the special mentality of how he fought against the opponents, against our players, he said, ‘I’m here’.
“I liked many things that we saw and that’s why we tried.”
Guardiola has no doubt Grealish will settle in quickly with City.
He said: “I have the feeling that he knows exactly what he has to do on the pitch.
“We saw him a lot, we suffered against him a lot. When you see this mentality and quality, that’s why we thought this was a guy who could help us maintain the level and try to raise it over the next few years.”
Guardiola has also suggested Phil Foden is likely to miss the start of the Premier League season with the foot injury that ruled him out of the Euro 2020 final with England.
He said: “Phil Foden will still be out for a while. You have to be careful with this injury because, if we don’t anticipate, it will be longer.”
Kevin De Bruyne will also miss Saturday’s Community Shield against Leicester with an ankle problem and it is unclear when he will return but Guardiola said he “should come back a little bit sooner or quicker than Phil”.
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