Pep Guardiola claims Manchester City will not have the funds to sign a top-class centre-back in January.

The Premier League champions will be without Aymeric Laporte for up to six months following knee surgery.

But Guardiola – who was desperate to sign Harry Maguire in the summer – confirmed he would have to wait until the end of the season to bring in top-quality defensive reinforcements.

The City manager has not completely ruled out a move during the January window, but made it clear he was likely to have to cope with John Stones, Nicolas Otamendi and Fernandinho until Laporte’s return in January or February.

“I don’t think it’s going to happen,” said the Catalan. “I heard already we are interested in this player or the other player.

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“I would like to say to all the clubs in the world don’t be nervous, because we are not interested in any players or central defenders in Europe.

“We are going to survive with the players we have. Maybe in December we are going to start to think about it, maybe.

“But if we could not invest in this situation in the summer, we cannot do it in winter. That’s why we are going to wait with the players we have, with the two central defenders, with Fernandinho, with Eric Garcia and Taylor Hartwood-Bellis, even some players in different positions we can use there.

“We’re going to move forward.”

Stones has recovered from a thigh injury and is in contention to play against Norwich on Saturday.

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And Guardiola has backed the England international to step up in the absence of Laporte, who damaged his meniscus earlier this month.

“He’s going to play incredible this period, while Laporte is not with us,” he said. “He is going to play well. I don’t have any doubts about his quality.

“I think the personality is always there. So there’s a guy who in the first season made some mistakes and always try again and try again so I don’t have doubts about his personality.”

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