Manchester City ‘could not afford’ £25m-rated Jonny Evans, claims Pep Guardiola

Manchester City failed to sign West Bromwich Albion centre-back Jonny Evans this summer because the Premier League giants ‘could not afford’ his £25million price tag, according to Pep Guardiola.

With club captain Vincent Kompany in a constant battle with his fitness, Guardiola had hoped to shore up his defence in the summer transfer window as he looks to build a team capable of challenging for domestic and European titles.

Virgil van Dijk was apparently an option for the Blues but deemed Southampton’s £60m valuation too high.

Northern Ireland international Evans was seen as a more affordable option but after learning of City’s interest, West Brom hiked up their asking price.

City had a bid of £18million turned down while West Brom rejected offers of £10million and £23million from Leicester City.

And Guardiola has revealed that mega-rich City were not prepared to meet the Baggies’ valuation.

“My colleague [West Brom boss] Tony Pulis put a price that we couldn’t afford at that moment,” said the City manager.

“I don’t know about the summer or next season but now he’s a player for West Brom. We will survive.

“In the end we spent money, we sold players. We bought five players who cost around £35m each. It’s not a big issue because we sold a lot. We’ve got money to invest again.

“I’m happy with the squad and we’ll move forward with that.”

Among the five players signed by City over the summer, three were full-backs, with Kyle Walker, Danilo and Benjamin Mendy joining the club.

Asked is a central defender was ever a priority for the Blues, Guardiola added: “We wanted one but we were not able. It wasn’t possible.

“We had a little bit more money to spend but not that much. We cannot go without any full-backs, which were a real priority.

“If [Eliaquim] Mangala had gone I’m pretty sure we would’ve bought a new one. Because he stayed it made no sense to buy another.

“We cannot change 11 players. We changed some last season, five in that season and with four in one position. Maybe you believe that because we’re Manchester City we could do that [buy a new one]. We are going to survive in that position.

“To change a team, you don’t only need one transfer window. We need more time. Even with two windows it’s not possible. We have no regrets, no complaints. The club made a huge effort.”

West Bromwich Albion

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