Jurgen Klopp’s claim that Manchester City live in a transfer ‘fantasy land’ has been categorically dismissed by the Premier League champions.
The Liverpool manager last week namechecked City alongside Barcelona, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain as a club who can consistently spend exorbitant sums.
City’s chief operating officer Omar Berrada rubbished Klopp’s assertions three days before the clubs meet in the Community Shield at Wembley.
‘We were a bit surprised,’ Berrada said yesterday. ‘I don’t know why they would make these comments. I don’t know why they would look at other clubs.
‘It’s not frustration or anger, we just find it curious that they’d be highlighting our spending. We’re fine with their spending.’
Klopp has not made a senior signing this summer and said the club ‘had to pay bills’. He added: ‘We invested money in this team. Now it looks like we are not.’
City broke their transfer record last month by signing Rodri from Atletico Madrid for £62.8million.
Last year, however, Liverpool’s net spend came in at £127m, while City’s was just £22m. And Deloitte’s latest annual review, using data from 2017-2018, calculated that Manchester United’s annual wage bill is the highest in the league at £296m. Liverpool’s stood at £264m, with City at £260m.
‘The reality is all the top clubs invest as they see fit,’ Berrada added. ‘We don’t look at what others do. Liverpool are a great sporting rival.’
Meanwhile, Bayern Munich will have to make Leroy Sane one of the most expensive players of all time in order to prise the winger away from City.
Sportsmail understands City will demand around £135m for a player they bought from Schalke for £37m three years ago.
Guardiola has been irked by Bayern officials continuing to talk about their pursuit of Sane, who has two years left on his contract.
Manager Niko Kovac openly discussed where Sane would fit into his side and Bayern are confident of getting their man.
City wrote to the Bundesliga champions asking them to desist from publicly courting the Germany international and Kovac has apologised to Guardiola.
If Sane does leave City, Guardiola will not go after an immediate replacement.