Guardiola admits that Liverpool are getting an "exceptional" centre-back, though, and a player that he believes could ultimately go on to justify the hefty outlay - a world-record fee for a defender, surpassing the £54m that took Kyle Walker from Tottenham Hotspur to Manchester City in the summer.
"It's about the guy, not the money," he told reporters. "I know that Liverpool took an amazing player. Van Dijk is an exceptional central defender.
"We will see in the future [if he was worth it]. Sometimes the cheaper players are more expensive than the expensive players. If he plays six, seven, eight years at a high, high level, it will be cheap. If he plays not good, it will be expensive.
"John Stones, when he came here, [people] said 'oh, it's too expensive'. Now, it's too cheap. [It] only depends on the value of what happens on the pitch."
Van Dijk had previously been linked with Man City, but Guardiola claims that he was never interested in the defender.