Man City’s inevitable assault on the transfer market has yet to reach top gear.
While the signings of Ilkay Gundogan and Nolito demonstrated the clubs desire to brings in world class talents, it is perhaps Guardiola’s third summer signing that could indicate the new manager’s plans at the club going forward.
Oleksandr Zinchenko arrived at the Etihad to little fanfare and a lot of confused fans. The little known Ukrainian joined the club from Russian side FC Ufa for a competitively modest fee.
This was almost certainly a Pep signing, the tactical mastermind will not chase the star-names but will invest in raw talent which he can mould into his system. Don’t be surprised to see a few more unfamiliar faces join Man City before the window closes.
Here are five transfer unknowns who Guardiola could target this summer…
A young, prolific Portuguese winger who is fast making a name for himself in his home country and already has a handful of international caps…sound familiar?
While the comparisons between Gonçalo Guedes and Cristiano Ronaldo have inevitably arrived, the 19-year-old has warranted his own praise for his performances for Benfica.
Guedes is a good passer of the ball and has impeccable stamina; a perfect player for Pep’s plans.
When a player is described as “the new Ronaldinho” by none other than Brazilian legend Ronaldo himself, you have to wonder just how good Gabriel Jesus can be.
The 19-year-old broke numerous goal scoring records at youth level and has scored a goal every two games since stepping up to the Palmeiras first team.
Jesus can play as a forward or winger, has exceptional ability with the ball at his feet and an incomparable work ethic.
The fact that a prestigious club like Porto offered the captain’s armband to Ruben Neves at just 18 years of age, demonstrate just how talented the youngster is.
A defensive midfielder by trade, Neves is an extraordinary reader of the game and an incredible tackler, whilst also providing a deep passing threat going forward.
Neves is growing in ability quickly and will likely be one of the best midfielders of his generation. Pep will need to act fast, and probably spend upwards of £25 million to land the future star of Portuguese football.
“The future of Italian football”, according to former Milan coach Sinisa Mihajlovic, Gianluigi Donnarumma was given his debut for the Rossoneri at just 16, making him the youngest goalkeeper to ever play a match in the history of Italian professional football.
Standing at 6ft5, the teenager played 30 times for Milan last season and is fast becoming the most desired young player in the world today.
“The new Buffon” would be a great fit for Manchester City, where he could remain for the next two decades, although Guardiola would likely have to pay £30 million for his services.
Having already amassed over 100 senior appearances at Anderlecht, 19-year old Youri Tielemens has established himself as the best young player in Belgium and one of the best prospects in world football.
Tielemens is a gifted midfielder with exceptional passing ability, stamina and graciousness on the ball. He can also be a combative tackler when required; a perfect combination of an advanced playmaker and box-to-box midfielder.
With compatriots Vincent Kompany and Kevin De Bruyne settled at the Etihad, it wouldn’t take much persuasion for the youngster to move to Manchester, but may cost City around £25 million.