"But if you want one and many, many clubs want him it's more complicated, especially if it's Madrid or Barcelona", Guardiola told a news conference ahead of City's Premier League clash with Wolves.
Guardiola has ruled out making any new signings in the January transfer window but says a new holding midfielder will be a priority for the start of next season.
Striker Sergio Aguero could return for Wolves' visit to the Etihad Stadium after a bout of illness while captain Vincent Kompany has also made good progress after suffering a muscular problem in the Liverpool game.
Tottenham's struggles in the midfield department have been well documented this season, with a host of key midfielders missing out due to frequent injuries over the course of the season.
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Top seed Novak Djokovic , who like Federer is bidding for a record seventh title in Melbourne, will take on a qualifier. Williams will face Tatjana Maria in the first round, and could meet either Genie Bouchard or Peng Shaui in the second.
The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss added: "Specifically with Fernandinho's role, it's so hard to find". We are not going to pay £100 million for a holding midfielder. "He'll be 34 and he can not play every few days".
Despite the likelihood of losing out on De Jong, Guardiola has no qualms over the work being done by City director of football Txiki Begiristain and his team to bring in top-class players. "I don't talk about players not here, never did and never will".
But with City still fighting for silverware on four fronts, the Catalan is happy to rely on John Stones and Ilkay Gundogan until the end of the season.
And two stunning cup victories in the space of four days - albeit against lower league clubs Rotherham and Burton Albion - suggested the clinical, cutting edge that characterised City's play during last season's record-breaking title-winning campaign was back. When he's close to the box he arrives in the right tempo and the right moment to score a goal.
Guardiola has been asked numerous times if City might try to add to the squad during this month's transfer window but he remains adamant that will not happen.