It was announced on Monday that Sergio Aguero will leave City this summer when his contract ends, a player Guardiola says is impossible to replace given his history at City and what he means to the fans.
But with some astronomical fees being purported for Europe’s top strikers – and with the effects of the global health pandemic impacting the finances of clubs throughout the game – Guardiola says bringing in a big-name striker to follow in Aguero’s footsteps this summer seems unlikely.
"Listen, with these prices, we are not going to buy any striker," Guardiola said.
"It’s impossible. We will not afford it. That is not going to happen. All the clubs struggle financially. We are not an exception.
“We have Gabriel [Jesus], Ferran [Torres] who has played incredible in this position, we have young players in the Academy, we play many times with a false 9.
“So, I don't know what is going to happen. Maybe we will buy but maybe we won't buy a striker for the next season. Today, there is more chance we will not buy a striker.
“It was a hard decision [to let Sergio leave at the end of the season]. We know how important a player he is in the present and the past. These decisions are never easy.
“I want to be clear. Maybe we are going to find a new player to replace Sergio in terms of numbers. In terms of what he means to the club, it’s impossible to replace.
“But there is a big, big chance we will not sign a new striker for next season.
“We have enough players in the first team right now and interesting players in the academy. There is a big challenge with the economic problems in world football and there is a chance we will not sign a striker for the next season.”
Meanwhile, Academy striker Liam Delap will continue training with the first team next season.
And Guardiola says he will continue to doing the same next season whilst he and his staff monitor his progress.
"Liam is training with us this season," he said. "Like what happened with Brahim [Diaz] and Phil [Foden], and we wanted with Jadon [Sancho] but he didn't accept to extend his contract with us.
Liam, Felix [Nmecha], Cole Palmer, [James] McAtee - many players are training with us.
"Liam is doing incredibly well.
"We are in touch every week once or twice with Enzo Maresca to see how they are developing. Enzo is doing an incredible job in the second team.
"Next season he will be with us, training with us every day."