Pep Guardiola has saluted Manchester City’s early business in the summer transfer market, with fees having spiralled out of control.
Bernardo Silva was among those drafted into the Etihad Stadium before most clubs had started their respective recruitment drives, with the likes of Kyle Walker and Benjamin Mendy following.
City have spent big on fresh faces, as Guardiola has sought to freshen up an ageing squad, but they believe that value for money has been found.
Had that they not acted as quickly as they did, they could have been forced to splash out even more as valuations have rocketed on the back of Neymar’s record-breaking €222 million move from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain.
Guardiola said on his dealings: "Everyone who makes a deal would like to do it in two minutes. But sometimes the clubs take their time, they make their strategy to earn more money and it's normal.
"In that moment we decided to do that, so I think [Bernardo] would be more expensive now.
"Maybe not just Bernardo, maybe Kyle, maybe Mendy or maybe others would be more expensive now."
Guardiola is, however, confident that the 23-year-old will become a key figure once adjusted to new surroundings and fully up to speed following a hectic summer.
He added: "Bernardo arrived later after the USA tour because of the Confederations Cup.
"I don't know who organised that beautiful competition but that's why the players arrived late.
"Of course I like midfield players who don't lose the ball and can attack in the small spaces, they do the simple things and the difficult things.
"He's a player that has this quality and especially his personality, how he played in the last 10-15 minutes against Everton, his first game in the Premier League in the Etihad Stadium, and he tried to do things, he tried to fight, with personality - that's why we decided to pick him up.
"Not just for the quality but for his personality."