Pep Guardiola: Manchester City is 'In Trouble' If We Don't Make Signings

Premier League leader Manchester City plans to strengthen its defense in the January transfer window to avoid a lack of squad depth as it competes on multiple fronts, Pep Guardiola has said.

Injured defenders John Stones, Vincent Kompany and Benjamin Mendy are all expected to return next year, leaving Guardiola with limited options as his team target domestic league and cup honours, along with the Champions League.

"In that department we have too few players and to handle all competitions we are in trouble, real trouble if this is the case. But I can't assure anything. We're going to see what will happen in January," Guardiola said.

"Maybe we are thinking of looking at another central defender because of Vincent's problems, John Stones is four or five weeks out. And we miss an important player like Mendy."

Guardiola has turned to midfielder Ilkay Guendogan and Eliaquim Mangala in the absence of his first-choice defenders, with the duo helping City to a 2-1 win over second-placed Manchester United last Sunday.

Guardiola was also asked about an incident at Old Trafford which reportedly saw around 20 players involved in a fracas in the tunnel, while Mikel Arteta was left with a bloodied face from a cut on his forehead. The suggestion from United and manager Jose Mourinho was that City's celebrations were excessive.

Pep Guardiola
Pep Guardiola at Old Trafford, Manchester, England, December 10. Guardiola plans on strengthening Manchester City's defense in January. OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty

"Definitely not," Guardiola responded. "It was the same as the Southampton game—maybe more [against Southampton] because it was the 96th minute [when City scored their winning goal]. We were happy because we won a derby. We celebrate When United win, when Arsenal win, they celebrate. Inside the locker room, that what we try to do and we did it."

But, across town, in Mourinho's press conference, the United manager put the post-match problems down to a "diversity in education."

"The only thing I can say is that for me it was just a question of diversity," Mourinho said. "A diversity of behaviors, diversity in education. Just that and nothing more than that."

City has ridden a record 14-game winning streak to establish an 11-point lead at the top of Premier League and has been drawn against Swiss side Basel in the last 16 of the Champions League after winning their group.

The league leader travel to relegation-threatened Swansea City on Wednesday.