What’s Next for Guardiola’s Man City

pep

Guardiola has not been to the Middle East since his side lost to Monaco in champions league second round but has received a text of solidarity from the Arab owner, Sheikh Mansour that shows the club is moving in the right direction as planned

Manchester City still continue to be a failure in champions league with such an expensively assembled and high wage team with superb array of talents. One thing we know is that Pep is a winner and will eventually find a formula to make Man City more competitive in Europe and the premier league until then I have not seen any improvement from Pellegrini’s reign.

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Pep, I’m sure will be hurt and bruised by the loss to Monaco as he has never failed to reach champions league semis in his young managerial career.

Rebuilding the Team

Monaco is a great young talented side but the tie was lost at home in Etihad stadium when Monaco was allowed to score 3 very vital away goes, now the rebuilding has got to start, He will have to rebuild the team to his own standard and style of play, we can say a lot of the current players were inherited when he took over but they were league champions 3 season back and full of very experienced internationals.

Arrivals

There are several factors which will affect City’s transfer business. One is the need to bring in homegrown players, as they could be left with just Raheem Sterling and John Stones by the start of next season.

City are looking at current contract situation with Lionel Messi but I very much doubt the possibility of such deal

Guardiola will need full-backs, a centre-back, a deep-lying midfielder and a forward. A goalkeeper may also be required.

Goalkeeper possibilities are Benfica’s Ederson and Sunderland’s Jordan Pickford, Jordan is a homegrown option for City if they choose to explore or consider that.

Danny Rose of Spurs is a target, enquiries were made last summer which was rebuffed but City could tempt Spurs now as the Londoners’ new stadium could cost them twice as much as expected. Same applies to Dele Alli, who City have been monitoring but could cost a world-record fee being an established English international,  Spurs will not like to sell such a rising super star to another premier league club, besides, they have a tradition of selling their best players to Rear Madrid.

Guardiola’s targets will be young and versatile players, potential targets could be Bayer Leverkusen’s Benjamin Henrichs, 20 who can play at both right-back and midfield. Another one is Monaco’s Fabinho, 23, who could be difficult to price away from Monaco.

Bayern Munich’s Joshua Kimmich is a possibility, while Aymeric Laporte is a potential target as he was rumoured to be joining  City from Athletic last summer. A left-footed defender who is good on the ball, such as Laporte and also Juventus’ Giorgio Chiellini is also a priority for City, a player of chiellini experience might be required in the dressing room if Yaya Toure is moved on.

chiellini

City are also keeping an eye on Kingsley Coman the pacey, tricky winger should he leave Bayern Munich despite the continuing emergence of Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling.

Another priority for Guardiola is the arrival of a deep-lying midfielder, though that could be resolved if Henrichs, Fabinho or Kimmich are signed.

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Kingsley Coman
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Benjamin Henrichs

Jack Wilshere and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain were also mentioned at some stage but none of them is good enough for me to warrant any interest. Another striker will depend on whether Aguero leaves and who could be signed to replace him.

Options are Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann who have been previously considered.

Alexis Sanchez, when he leaves Arsenal, is a player Guardiola has worked with previously and still admires.

All in all, City’s targets will have to be young and versatile, both in attack & Defence and will be established players of international quality who are able to play the Guardiola way.

Departures

It was City’s defeat in Madrid last April which convinced Khaldoon Al Mubarak that Guardiola would need help in transforming the club from uninspiring team to world beaters and to do this really a lot of this present squared will have to move on. You could pick a match-day squad of about 16 to 18 City players who might have to seek new clubs come this summer.

Willy Caballero is out of contract in the summer, He might be offered a new deal but no guarantee of first team football. Claudio Bravo has not been spectacular in any shape at all he has too many shortcomings to his game and can’t understand why or how he was preferred Joe Hart

Defence

Those ageing full-backs which Guardiola raised alarm about last summer can finally be moved on. Pablo Zabaleta, Bacary Sagna and Gael Clichy are all out of contract and I cannot see any of them been offered contract extensions.

Nicolas Otamendi’s future is also in doubt. Guardiola wanted two centre-backs last summer but only able to sign one John Stone.  He has been rotating between Otamendi, Aleksandar Kolarov and John Stones. Otamendi’s has his own quality when City come up against direct opposition but his distribution is not as good as Kolarov or Stones and Guardiola will have an all-rounder replacement lined up.

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Vincent Kompany, the injury plagued club captain who struggles to get into the team even when available for selection under Guardiola.

 Midfield

Yaya Toure is still hoping for a new deal but if Peps record with him and his mouthy agent is anything to go by then I don’t think he will be getting any offer. Although he has been one of City’s best players, if not the best, since returning to the side in November, he has been Eric Cantona of City since his arrival, nothing was happening in Man City before him. But I think Guardiola wants a deep-lying midfielder so might go for somebody younger who already knows his style of football.

Yaya Touré turns 32 on 13 May and if last year is anything to go by, he will be expecting a cake

Fabian Delph and Fernando has had few opportunities this season and might have to move on to get a regular football.

Jesus Navas is out of contract and might just be better off moving back to Spain maybe old club Sevilla.

Attack

The Sergio Aguero situation remains unresolved and there is still a possibility that he could leave in the summer as he will not want to play second best to young Jesus if he gets back from Injury and still playing same way as before.

Kelechi Iheanacho is unlikely to get many opportunities next season whether Aguero stays or not and the young Nigerian would have to move on in pursuit of regular football, he could go on loan but a permanent move away from the Etihad will be best option for him, I don’t think he will ever be in Guardiola’s plan.

Players out on loan

Joe Hart, Samir Nasri, Wilfried Bony, Eliaquim Mangala and Jason Denayer are 5 City players out on loan and looking at their performances and Guardiola’s demand from his players, intensity and style of play I cannot see any of them heading back to the Etihad.

Manchester City’s top decision makers were left so disappointed with the manner of the club’s limp Champions League exit that they agreed a fresh start was needed and that many of the current squad members would have to be moved on.

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