MANCHESTER, England — Pep Guardiola joked that Manchester City could not afford Antoine Griezmann as he ruled out a move for the France international.
Griezmann told Atletico Madrid on Tuesday that he wants to leave after five seasons, with sources telling ESPN FC that Barcelona are hopeful of signing him.
Sources have also told ESPN FC that City are set to bring in three or four new faces during the summer, but Guardiola ruled out a move for the 2018 World Cup winner.
“For the people of Barcelona, I say: ‘Don’t worry, guys.’ Manchester City is not going to buy Antoine Griezmann, we cannot afford him,” he told a news conference ahead of the FA Cup final against Watford (11:55 a.m. ET, ESPN+).
“For the people of Barcelona, don’t worry. We are not interested in Griezmann.”
Griezmann has also been linked with Paris Saint-Germain, but PSG boss Thomas Tuchel said he isn’t an option.
“Griezmann can play with every team in the world. It would please any coach, but right now it’s not realistic,” Tuchel said on Friday.
“We are looking for players with certain profiles, it must be realistic. We need defensive profiles and we have to start with that.”
Guardiola also played down suggestions that he could leave after Massimiliano Allegri confirmed that he would depart from Juventus at the end of the season.
With City under investigation by UEFA over claims they breached financial fair play rules, and with reports suggesting they could get a one-year ban from the Champions League, Guardiola said he trusted those in charge at the club.
“If we did something wrong or UEFA decides that we have done something wrong OK, we’ll be banned, we will be punished or whatever they decide — but we are innocent right now,” he said.
“I spoke with the chairman, with the CEO and I know exactly what happened, I know exactly what they did and I trust them.
“I’m not going to answer any more questions. We are innocent today, so we’ll see in the future.”