Guardiola Laments Missed Opportunity as Arteta’s Ambitious Move Secures Rice for Arsenal

Manchester City Manager Claims Financial Constraints Led to Declan Rice Loss

Pep Guardiola, the manager of Manchester City, has disclosed that the club would have faced severe criticism for splurging £105 million on Declan Rice, had they secured the midfielder’s signature last summer.

Guardiola, who had targeted Rice for two years, ultimately lost the race to Arsenal’s Mikel Arteta, who successfully convinced the 24-year-old to make the switch from West Ham.

Guardiola, speaking ahead of a crucial title showdown at the Emirates, cheekily suggested that Rice’s presence would have been beneficial, especially with his mainstay, Rodri, serving a suspension.

“Everybody knows we wanted Declan Rice. We could play him when Rodri could not play, but in the end, Arsenal pushed more and wanted him more,” remarked Guardiola.

The City boss further revealed the financial dynamics that influenced the decision, stating, “We could not reach Arsenal’s offer in that position. We could not afford it, maybe if the price had been less. Normally when Manchester City spend this amount of money, it is considered crazy. When others spend it, how smart they are! Arsenal believed they had to do it. That’s more than fine. He is an exceptional holding midfield player.”

Arsenal shattered their transfer record to secure Rice, whom they envision as the missing piece in their team’s puzzle. Guardiola applauded Arteta’s ambition, emphasizing the manager’s persistence in seeking financial backing from the board.

“He is a guy so demanding with the board, ‘Give me money to spend.’ He has this talent. He pushes everyone,” acknowledged Guardiola.

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