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green light Manchester City to bid for Harry Kane to ‘send strong message’ to chasing pack

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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola after the final whistle of the Champions League defeat to Chelsea. Photo: Adam Davy/PA Wire

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola after the final whistle of the Champions League defeat to Chelsea. Photo: Adam Davy/PA Wire

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola after the final whistle of the Champions League defeat to Chelsea. Photo: Adam Davy/PA Wire

Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak has given the green light for Pep Guardiola to pursue Harry Kane after insisting the Premier League champions must send a strong message in the summer transfer market.

Khaldoon has confirmed City will invest to find a replacement for Sergio Aguero, who has left as a free agent to Barcelona. He has also given unequivocal backing to Guardiola after his tactics backfired in Saturday’s Champions League final.

City will look to invest in at least two key areas this window and are looking at Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish as a potential signing. Kane wants to leave Tottenham this summer but chairman Daniel Levy wants him to stay. Other strikers at the top bracket of the market include Erling Haaland at Borussia Dortmund and Inter Milan’s Romelu Lukaku.

“One of the things I’ve learned over the years is that you need to constantly bring talent into the team, refresh and particularly when you are at a high level, at the top,” said Khaldoon. “Having won the league, it is not actually the time to sit back and be content. That would be your biggest mistake.

“This is actually the time to send a strong message that there is no contentment and that we are not just satisfied with just winning the league.

“We lose a very important legend in Sergio Aguero, very hard shoes to fill but I am confident we will find the right player to fill those shoes. There are other areas in the team that need investment, not too many. It’s not about numbers, it is about quality.”

Guardiola’s tactics in the defeat to Chelsea have been criticised after he left his two defensive midfielders, Fernandinho and Rodri, on the bench in Porto. Khaldoon says own Sheikh Mansour remains proud of making the final.

“He (Guardiola) is in the right environment,” Khaldoon added, “he’s got the right infrastructure around and we have the greatest trust and the greatest relationships. The journey will go on as long as Pep is happy and we are happy.”

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