Pep Guardiola says Manchester City would be ‘killed’ if they spent the same as Premier League rivals Chelsea.
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Almost £1bn has been invested on new players at Stamford Bridge since Todd Boehly purchased the west London club last year.
Chelsea have broken the Premier League’s transfer record twice in the past six months, signing Enzo Fernandez from Benfica in January and Moises Caicedo from Brighton last week.
While Guardiola insisted he was not criticising Chelsea’s heavy spending, he believes there would be far more ‘scrutiny’ if the sums were coming from Manchester City’s books.
‘For Chelsea it is easier than us, that’s for sure,’ he said. ‘I couldn’t sit here if we spent what Chelsea spent in the last two transfer windows – you would kill me.
‘We’d be under scrutiny like you couldn’t imagine. We have to see what happens in the market and if we can do it and to pay what we believe is fair.
‘We wanted [Harry] Maguire [in 2019] and didn’t buy him because we didn’t want to pay, we wanted [Marc] Cucurella [last summer] and didn’t pay, we wanted Alexis Sanchez  and didn’t pay.
‘In the end we will pay what is fair to do it. Otherwise we have the academy.
‘I don’t criticise Chelsea for one second. I’m saying, if we do it, we are dead. All around the world [every club] can do whatever they want.
‘I have admiration for Todd [Boehly, the Chelsea co-owner] – I met him. They can do whatever they want.
‘If they want to spend, I don’t know, £900m since he arrived, 900 more, 900 more – they have it. The business is the business. They sell a lot this season so they can do it.’
Despite the staggering spending at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea only finished 12th in the Premier League last season, closer to the relegation zone than the Champions League spots.
The Blues are expected to soar back up the table under Mauricio Pochettino and drew 1-1 with Liverpool on the opening weekend. Chelsea face London rivals West Ham on Sunday.
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