Pep Guardiola fears Manchester City’s spending power may be impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, and says landing a successor to Leroy Sane is not a top priority at present.
Clubs around the world – even those with the deepest pockets – are set to be hit hard by the Covid-19 outbreak.
With regular sources of income blocked off as games are staged behind closed doors, on the back of a three-month period of lockdown, a closer eye is having to be kept on purse strings across the board.
Guardiola is fully aware of that, with there no guarantee that City’s billionaire owner, Sheikh Mansour, will be opening the cheque book again.
Those at the Etihad Stadium also have the threat of a two-year European ban hanging over them, as they wait on a definitive ruling in that case from the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
There may be issues for City to address, with Guardiola having confirmed that Bayern Munich-linked Sane will be heading out of Manchester at some stage in the near future.
The reigning Premier League champions do, however, have plenty of alternatives to the Germany international winger and will seek to tinker in other areas if reinforcements are sought with whatever funds are made available.
“Firstly, Leroy is our player,” Guardiola told City’s official website when quizzed on his recruitment plans. “I don’t know if he will leave in the summer or at the end of his contract.
“We have enough good players up front. Gabriel [Jesus] can play on the left, [Phil] Foden can play on the left. We have Raheem [Sterling].
“Most of them are in good condition, like Phil, Riyad [Mahrez], Gabriel and Raheem. Players like that can play quite regularly for a long time. They are so stable in terms of injuries.
“I think we have other priorities, maybe. I don’t know if after the coronavirus, whether the financial situation for the club will change. We will see at the end of this season.
“In all the places I was - Barcelona, Bayern Munich and here - if the club says 'we cannot afford it', then we cannot afford it.
“It depends if people stay. Maybe in these next two months, the team makes a step forward and we decide to continue with the same people.”
City, who have already added a third successive Carabao Cup win to their roll of honour this season, are currently focused on playing the 2019-20 campaign to a finish. They remain in the FA Cup and Champions League, while they will also be back in Premier League action on Monday when taking in a home date with Burnley.