Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola makes Sergio Busquets enquiry

City, with aspirations on reaching the very top of European football, are perhaps still a step or three ahead of their rivals, but their short record on the South Coast suggests it will be anything but a cakewalk for the visitors.

Pep Guardiola accepts Manchester City's spending this summer is unsustainable but believes he has put together a squad that will need only minimal additions over the next few years.

"So we have to disregard most of it, because it's something that we can't affect".

City finished third last season, managing 12 clean sheets, five behind the division's best of Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur. It's going to be tough for them.

City, as always, haven't been frightened to splash the cash this summer, spending the best part of £130m on three defenders alone....but this is exactly where it was needed. There's a gulf between Albion and City. They could put out a second eleven that would be a more than respectable Premier League team on its own merit, once Guardiola chooses the hard task of selecting his best line up. Perhaps we've got to ensure that all our players give their all and hope that City are off-colour, but it can happen that way.

He said: "I think the champions are the team to beat - they weren't champions for nothing".

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Meanwhile, the likes of Kelechi Iheanacho, Enes Unal, Nolito, Fernando and Joe Hart have left the club.

"We spent the first three months in the bottom places". He was a brilliant midfielder and [City coach] Mikel Arteta as well, and those two have helped me a lot and given me a lot of confidence.

"Of course now the full-backs are younger, they have energy in their legs and we are going to use them".

Vincent Kompany enjoyed a strong end to the season last time out. "That is the top (and only) priority, and the club will do all it can to achieve that".

Be it a back three or a back four, I don't see any balance now in the squad.

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"It's a massive club, so I knew if it was promoted it would be one of the biggest in the Premier League". I'm going to be fearless and say the game will finish 4-0.

Liverpool held on to fourth place previous year and will need to make the most of Champions League football while they have it.

Yet he said: "It's the same pressure as I had last season".

Immediately after Brighton secured promotion to the top-flight for the first time in 34 years, their chairman Tony Bloom warned he would not break the bank in a bid to avoid relegation.

Pep Guardiola will resist a tactical shift at Manchester City this season, having backed his raft of big-money singings to fit last season's often stuttering gameplan.

"Pep Guardiola's challenge can be crystallised into a simple question: will the manager allow Manchester City to defend this season?" says Jamie Jackson of The Guardian.

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