Pep Guardiola says reports he will make sweeping changes to the Manchester City squad this summer are wide of the mark.
In the aftermath of City’s Champions League exit at the hands of Monaco on Wednesday, reports suggested City were set to change as many as 16 players as they look to improve ahead of next season.
But Guardiola, speaking ahead of his side’s crucial Premier League game with Liverpool on Sunday, has described it as “impossible” but admits he will be looking at ways he can strengthen during the next transfer window.
"A lot of people say about our performance in Monaco and we will have to make 12 or 13 players. But that is impossible today to do that,” he said.
“You have to be a little bit more responsible. You have to imagine a club - 16 players? They might have a contract and you have to pay their salaries. And spend £40-£50m on every player means you would have to spend £500m-£600m! It's impossible.
“We will try and improve the team but it's impossible [to do that much] with the way the transfer market is."
City’s defeat to Monaco means it is the first time Guardiola has managed a side that has exited the Champions League before the semi-final stage.
While some have criticised his team's performance, which he admits wasn’t good enough in the first half of Wednesday’s second leg, he believes he has the basis of an excellent side, and highlighted John Stones as a player he feels will be even better next season.
“Most of the players, the base is perfect, it's done,” he said.
“John Stones next season will be a better player. The last month or month and a half John has made a huge step forward.
“Maybe it's not the best John Stones you've ever seen but next season will be better, because he's so young.
“It's the first year players have come here to play in Europe, and people believe they are going to come here, put them on the pitch and they are going to play well.
“They need the process, they need time to build and to be settled, but I am delighted with his performance and how good he will be for your national team in the future, I am pretty sure of that, how important he will be.
“Of course, he makes mistakes but it's part of the process. I never saw a central defender or 20 or 21 years of age going into the last-16, quarter-finals or semi-finals or play in the big stages and not make mistakes, it's impossible.
“We have to create a good environment for him to get him better, to help him. I'm talking about John Stones and all the other examples."