Pep Guardiola: 'Almost impossible' for Manchester City to break own records

NEW YORK -- Pep Guardiola believes it is "almost impossible" for Manchester City to break any of the records set in last season's Premier League title triumph.

His side ripped up the record books in 2017-18 -- becoming the first team in English history to reach 100 points with a new high of 106 goals as Guardiola secured his first title in emphatic style.

But the Catalan said he is expecting a much tougher challenge in the defence of their title as he prepares for Wednesday's International Champions Cup clash with Liverpool, who could emerge as City's biggest rival this season.

"We are not going to break any more records in the Premier League, it is impossible... it is almost impossible," he told a news conference.

"I have to see the faces of my players in the next two weeks when they are together because we are here without 15 players. When we come back we have four or five days to prepare for [the Community Shield] against Chelsea and we are going to see their faces.

"The target is win the next game and how to prepare to win the game, that is the target. The records we took last season was a consequence of what we've done every single day. That is the point.

"If we are going to compare November, December, January, comparing the position, we are going to lose all the comparisons with what we have done last season."

Liverpool finished 25 points adrift of City last season but knocked them out of the Champions League at the quarterfinal stage with victories in both legs.

Jurgen Klopp has spent heavily in the summer to strengthen his squad bringing in Alisson, Fabinho, Naby Keita and Xherdan Shaqiri for a combined fee of around £170 million.

The Liverpool manager has said he wanted to build a successful side in a different way but Guardiola defended the German's change in strategy.

"Every club does what they believe," the City boss said. "I understand completely and I'm not concerned about what one of us says one day and the other one say because the circumstances change.

"When Liverpool believe they need these kind of players, it its because they believe it is the best for them. I'm not going to judge what the others are doing.

"I don't like it when my colleagues speak about me or my players so I'm not going to say that. If they believe it's the best for Liverpool and their fans, it's perfect for them, so no problem at all."

Many pundits see Liverpool, who finished fourth last season, as City's biggest threat to defending their title but Guardiola refused to make any predictions for the new season.

"All the contenders will be stronger. United will be stronger and Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea Tottenham and some of there other ones -- Everton took a good manager and good players, West Ham now Manuel [Pellegrini] came back," he said.

"Always at the beginning of the season the expectation of every team is high. We want to do really well and continue what we started two seasons ago, change a few things and try. Nobody knows what will happen this season."

Guardiola did confirm that he had no interest in Juventus midfielder Miralem Pjanic and would be comfortable going into the season with just Riyad Mahrez as his only signing.

"He's a player for Juventus and we are not interested. He's a top player but we are not interested in him," he confirmed.

"We have a few weeks and we'll decide, maybe one but maybe not, we will see. We have a good squad, we can handle players in different positions, we'll see if we decide to buy one player or wait."