Manchester City cannot afford to make new signings this winter, according to manager Pep Guardiola.
Injuries to Aymeric Laporte and John Stones - combined with Vincent Kompany's summer departure - have left the Catalan coach decidedly short on centre-backs, teenagers Eric Garcia and Taylor Harwood-Bellis filling in for the absentees. There's been speculation City could spend big on a new defender in January, but that now appears out of the question.
Asked by Sky Sports whether he is looking to invest once the transfer window reopens, Guardiola stated: "That is not my business, but in January we are not going to buy because we don't have money to pay a huge amount in the summer, so we cannot do it in winter.
"We are going to stick to the players we have, with Harwood-Bellis and Eric and with the new players in the academy. We have young, talented players and we can count on them.
The youngsters played the entire game as the Citizens cruised past Preston 3-0 in League Cup action on Tuesday, though they cannot be expected to fill the void left by club stalwart Kompany.
"Vinny was an incredible personality and he was incredibly helpful to me and the whole club, Guardiola explained. "But, he decided to go to Anderlecht and we have to move forward. That is what it is and so far, it has been perfect."
Despite the defensive conundrum he's still facing, the City boss believes his side have coped well with the mounting injury list.
"I know for some people, the result is all that matters. It usually matters because you can have a job for the next season, that's why the results are important, but what makes me realise who we are and where we are going for the future is the way we play.
"We knew our [3-2 loss] at Norwich wasn't so bad. Sometimes in football you lose games, but the reaction was similar to the reaction in the last years it was good.