England winger Sterling ended his seven-year stay at the Etihad Stadium with a £47.5m move to Chelsea, while Jesus and Zinchenko have reunited with former Man City assistant coach Mikel Arteta at Arsenal.
But Guardiola has admitted that he would like to have kept the trio although he was understanding of their desire to play more often.
“No [the transfers weren’t guaranteed to happen] because I was incredibly happy with Gabriel, Oleks and Raheem,” Guardiola said.
“If they stayed longer, there would be no problem. They proved last year how good they are.
“But sometimes the players want more, and the club feel it is the right moment to do it. But the most important thing is they leave happy with the club and what they have done.
“Normally when you talk about transfers in Spain, Germany, England, it is 10 percent more. It happens and we know it. It happens because they are really good. They are the best ages and their best years are maybe coming now. That’s why they have a value in the market.
“Chelsea and Arsenal have paid the money that is fair. And the discussions were perfect, Txiki [Begiristain] told me. Good for both sides and really friendly.”
Guardiola added: “This summer we have bought some exceptional people. And the rest we know each other. And we are sad because Raheem, Gabriel and Oleks were incredibly beloved. Since I arrived in Manchester, the chemistry has been incredible. It makes things good for me.”