Resurgent Man City resume title quest against in-form Wolves

"Ruben Neves is an excellent player", said Guardiola, whose second-placed side will be looking to cut Liverpool's seven-point lead at the top of the table.

And while Pochettino has somewhat managed to find adequate cover in the holding midfield role, Spurs have struggled to provide creativity without the services of Christian Eriksen, especially with Dele Alli not exerting the same dominance as before.

However, Guardiola indicated that "I am not talking about the case with the Ajax player, because he's an Ajax player".

Guardiola said: "It's not easy to find the specific quality of the players".

"We have a limit and cannot spend more so that's why we need to be careful with the players and try next season to see what we can do to improve".

"But, of course, for the next season it's an important target to find".

Neves, whose Wolves side visit the Etihad on Monday, tends to play as one of two holding midfielders, whereas Fernandinho performs that role on his own in the City line-up.

"There are players who can play in that role but, specifically Fernandinho's role, it's so hard to find".

"You have to pay the club, pay the family and talk with the players, and with the agents, it's nuts. He'll be 34 and he can not play every few days".

And two stunning cup victories in the space of four days - albeit against lower league clubs Rotherham and Burton Albion - suggested the clinical, cutting edge that characterised City's play during last season's record-breaking title-winning campaign was back.

"Sergio after Liverpool was sick", Guardiola added. When he's close to the box he arrives in the right tempo and the right moment to score a goal.

Guardiola said he was happy with his squad, with City challenging for silverware in four competitions.

"When we spent a lot last season, it was because the team was old - it was 30-31 years old and that's why we did it".

  • Angelo Rivera