Both Manchester City and their incoming manager crashed out of the Champions League last week at the semi-final stage.
Pep Guardiola dominated club football’s most-prestigious competition during his Barcelona days, but was unable to add the trophy to an impressive three years at Bayern Munich.
City meanwhile have yet to progress to a final despite staggering investment on the blue half of Manchester.
Guardiola and City are set to combine forces next season and it’s fair to say that the Catalan tactician will not be shopping in football’s bargain basement as he looks to put his stamp on the squad at the Etihad Stadium.
Here are FOUR men that could well be on his radar.
Over the last couple of seasons it seemed that Arsenal, complete with new stadium and new found financial muscle, had extinguished the need to allow their star players to move on to Premier League rivals.
This season, however, with Arsene Wenger under increasing pressure and the best chance of a league title for over a decade having slipped through their fingers, the Gunners are in danger of taking a backwards step.
Europe’s elite clubs will be on red alert should the likes of Alexis Sanchez become disgruntled with the lack of progress.
Rumours have circulated in recent days that the Chilean has been at the centre of a dressing room bust-up and that he could be willing to leave.
Guardiola knows the Chilean well having brought him to Camp Nou from Udinese. Sanchez on top form could fit into virtually any side and would be a great upgrade for Pep on the likes of Jesus Navas or Samir Nasri.
The forward would also be a real crowd pleaser at the Etihad, but the major issue would be that Arsenal would require staggering compensation.
City’s defence, which has often looked suspect this season, despite considerable investment over the last few transfer windows, is thought to be an obvious priority for Pep.
Bilbao’s Laporte could well be an option worth perusing.
The young Frenchman is regarded as one of the most promising defenders on the continent and his athletic, classy style would fit well with Guardiola’s high defensive line and preference for ball recycling.
The Basque outfit have a €50 million release fee in place to deter potential suitors from the 21-year-old, but that sort of money is unlikely to worry City, who would have to pay similar money to invest in an alternative such as Everton’s John Stones.
Undoubtedly one of Europe’s rising stars, Coman made a stunning impact for Bayern Munich in Guardiola’s last season in charge.
The electric 19-year-old is widely predicted to be a key player for hosts France at this summer’s EURO 2016 tournament, despite his lack of experience.
The winger spent the campaign on loan at Bayern from Italian giants Juventus, where he became an important player for Guardiola.
The tactician would love to be able to bring the agile teenager to England, where his acceleration, lightning feet and ability to switch flanks at will would surely delight City fans.
Juventus, however, will have a huge price on his head and Bayern will want to keep him – it will take all of the new manager’s pulling power, plus a mammoth bid, to make the deal happen.
Yaya Toure was once the most important factor in Manchester City’s rise to power. Now, however, with the Ivorian’s stock falling and a question mark over the Citizens’ midfield, a key priority is to replace his influence.
Pogba is most imposing midfielder available, though the word ‘available’ should be taken with a pinch of salt.
City are one of only a handful of clubs that could afford him and the attraction of Guardiola strengthens their hand, but they need to secure Champions League football for next term before even considering an approach.
The Frenchman is another key Juventus asset and any potential transfer is sure to be a club record.
The benefit is that Europe’s marque midfield attraction is still only 23 and securing his signature would help City dominate Champions League encounters for years to come.