Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has insisted that a player’s ability is the defining factor in whether they interest the club – not their age.
City have invested in the likes of young talents Leroy Sane, Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus in recent transfer windows and Guardiola believes they have a long career ahead of them at the Etihad Stadium.
Speaking ahead of Wednesday’s Premier League encounter with Stoke City, the Catalan coach pointed out the club’s transfer philosophy.
He said: “We bought young players because we believe they have a lot of quality. We don't buy players just because they are young.
“They have a lot of quality, and of course we can invest a lot of money, with Raheem or with Leroy or the other guys.
“It's because we expect them to be here for four, five, six, seven years and make their careers here at Manchester City. That is the reason why. But the first thing we are looking for is the potential, the quality. After that, OK, as young as possible.”
“The academy for Manchester City works a lot, and for a long time. It doesn't matter about the results, believe me, but it's good they win titles, because it means you have the winning mentality in every single player, at 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, they win a lot of titles and win a lot of games,” said Guardiola.
“That is really good for their process. The club is working for a long time to build these players to one day be at the Etihad Stadium.”