It always happens.
A new manager will make sweeping changes where he thinks he needs to. With Pep Guardiola coming in, and a look at the current season, there could be some major re-building work at Manchester City.
Guardiola will have had one eye on City’s fortunes, probably even before the big announcement, as he mulled over which club in the Premier League would pay him enough to move. The assumption is made that managers like to build upon past success in leagues across Europe, but it comes down to money nonetheless. How much he will get paid, how much he can spend and then what autonomy he has within the club, last.
Cynical? Yes absolutely.
And so with Pep will come his ideas, and that will mean a different playing style, different formations and therefore different personnel. Senor Guardiola has a head start at City though.
Despite being off the pace in the title race, Pellegrini believes reaching the Champions League semi-finals and winning the Capital One Cup shows City still have a powerful squad that doesn’t need wholesale changes by the new Spanish coach.
The outgoing City boss said: “That will be his opinion, which is the important thing. For me, next season started in February when the announcement was made.”
Pep has a fine goalkeeper in Joe Hart. He has one of the best strikers in the league in Sergio Aguero and a youngster knocking on his door in Kelechi Iheanacho. David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne are sublime on their day and Fernando and Fernandinho also have a place in the city line-up.
Guardiola appears to have a spine in the team and with injury prone Vincent Kompany at the back, he will build an efficient team that should, although it’s never guaranteed, be a team to fear next season.
So that doesn’t leave too much tinkering, but do not be surprised when the Etihad main entrance becomes an ever spinning, ever revolving front door, as players are given their P45s and shipped off to fields anew.
With that in mind, here are FIVE exit-bound Man City players…
The 32-year-old Ivory Coast international joined City from Barcelona for £24m in July 2010 – where he was sold by incoming City manager, Guardiola – but now looks set for a fresh chapter in his career. An underwhelming season has led to rumours for a while now, but according to the player’s agent, City have dragged their feet over a new contract and it’s time to go.
Playing for Manchester City since 2013/14, former Spanish international Navas will be one of those surely released by Guardiola. Several clubs in Italy, Spain and France have already indicated an interest, but Navas’ close ties with Sevilla could see him make an emotional return to the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.
Kolarov was widely expected to leave the Etihad Stadium this summer, as it is believed that City are pursuing a new left-back. However, it has been revealed that Serbia international Kolarov is now reconsidering his playing career and is interested in turning his hand to coaching and sees the chance to learn from the former Barcelona and current Bayern Munich boss as too good to turn down.
The ridiculous scenario last summer of a player stating publicly his desire and intent to remain with Aston Villa, only to then leave and join City, was another fiasco in footballing transfer history. The 26 year old has had limited playing time this season, making just 27 appearances in all competitions. With a small window to showcase his style of play, Guardiola may feel it won’t get any better for the midfielder and just move him on.
Signed from Swansea in January 2015, it’s fair to say his career with City hasn’t been a raging success. Bony’s been held back by a combination of his own form, illness, injury and international duty, but it seems as though he’s got to the point that he’ll never prove himself at the club.
His goal tally is probably best described as modest, but he has shown glimpses of his old Swansea form when he kills a long ball dead or does a quick shuffle to get around a defender into the box. Sadly for the supporters, though, those moments have been few and far between, and they’re often followed with a blast of the ball high and wide. City will sell to the highest bidder.