Manager Pep Guardiola says he would like more English players at Manchester City, but has bemoaned their cost.
England defender John Stones cost City £47.5m when they signed him from Everton in August and he is one of five English players in City’s squad.
Guardiola says City are hopeful of instead promoting young English players from the academy.
“I would like to have English players, believe me, but they are so expensive,” the Spaniard said.
“I would like to play with English players. When I was in Barcelona I liked to play with locals because they feel something special, but sometimes it is not possible.”
The five Englishmen in City’s first-team squad are Stones, Raheem Sterling, Fabian Delph, 19-year-old defender Tosin Adarabioyo and reserve goalkeeper Angus Gunn. England goalkeeper Joe Hart is on a season-long loan at Serie A club Torino.
The last City academy player to graduate to being a regular starter in the first team was defender Micah Richards, who left the club in 2015.
But Guardiola is confident of changing that.
“That is why the club has worked for a long period with the academy, thinking about the next years,” the 46-year-old said.
“With me or without me – hopefully with me – I would like to enjoy these four or five guys who are growing, and play with them.”