Pep Guardiola insists Manchester City were right to walk away when Tottenham decided £100 million was not enough for Harry Kane.
Guardiola remains such a big admirer of Kane that he has urged 31-goal Erling Haaland to learn from the England striker in his bid to become an even more destructive centre-forward ahead of City’s visit to a stadium that has become a graveyard.
But after a week which saw Chelsea take their transfer spend crashing through the £500 million barrier under new owner Todd Boehly by spending a British-record £106.8million on Enzo Fernandez, the City boss declared that he is happy about the way his club does their own business.
City were priced out of a move for Kane in the summer of 2021 - and in 22-year-old Haaland now have a striker who is younger and more prolific.
And Guardiola said: “What we have done over the years many times is that when the club decides it’s too much we don’t take the player.
“I could explain three or four or five cases - but wouldn’t talk about the players involved because they are at other clubs. But I have in my memory a few players where we were negotiating, but then we decided ‘no, it’s too much’ - and we didn’t do it.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen with transfer fees - although I can imagine - but it is always important to make a good decision on the right players. You want to buy ones who can be involved in the whole group, in terms of the dynamic that we have built over the years.
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“That’s the intention we always have - but I don’t know what’s going to happen with the prices. I think they will be more expensive than usual.”
Haaland seems certain to win the Golden Boot this season after scoring 25 goals in his first 19 Premier League games following his £51 million arrival from Borussia Dortmund.
But Guardiola explained how the Norwegian is striving to improve - and feels 16-goal Kane is the ideal role model. He added: “With Erling, one of the attributes I am surprised by the most is how he is aware that he can improve in many departments.
“I am pretty sure maybe watching Harry Kane - and other players too - that he has the will to say ‘I can do better.’ With Erling’s age, it is the best thing he can believe. Otherwise it will be boring. Until we pass away, always we can improve. It is the only thing in our lives. Never, never stop.”
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City came from two goals down to beat Tottenham 4-2 last month and keep their hopes of winning a third successful title alive. But their records at the £1 billion stadium that Spurs moved into almost four years ago is wretched.
Four games in the Premier League and Champions League have yielded four defeats for the Blues - and they are yet to score their first goal at the venue.
Both Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling have crucial missed penalties there. City need to win to keep leaders Arsenal in striking distance. And Guardiola said: “The reason is that Spurs have always been better than us.
“I get the feeling that we always play more than decent games against them, but we have missed penalties and they can do things to punish you. Now, with Antonio Conte, the quality they have up-front, the organisation, they are a tough opponent. It is a tough place to go.”