According to the Mirror, Pep Guardiola wants as many as EIGHT new starters at Manchester City to turn them into a team capable of winning both the Premier League and Champions League.
To say this is a bold move, even for a club as wealthy as Manchester City, is an understatement. To bring in eight players that can start at this level is going to be hugely expensive but clearly the incoming Bayern boss feels the Citizens need upgrading in almost every position.
It’s thought that of the current City squad only Sergio Aguero, Fernandinho and Kevin De Bruyne are deemed good enough for Pep’s new look team with Vincent Kompany a potential fourth if he can shake his proneness to injury.
Guardiola is tasked with transforming the club into the European force the Arab owners desperately want – so far they have arguably flattered to deceive under Roberto Mancini and Manuel Pellegrini. Whilst winning the league is no mean feat – especially in the fashion they did so for their first Premier League crown – City have failed to really kick on and dominate.
The club reached their first Champions League semi-final in 2015/16 but went out with less than a whimper against Real Madrid and Guardiola knows it’s Europe’s premier club competition is where he and his new club now need to leave their mark.
The Spaniard thinks eight players are needed to do this then and here at FootballFanCast we think this bunch are the ones he wants.
There are a few question marks of Joe Hart when it comes to playing with his feet. A world class shot stopper, you’d definitely back him in one on ones, but Guardiola wants more from his ‘keepers than that – just look at Manuel Neuer. Hart may get the chance to prove his worth to the former Barca man but if not Ter Stegen is the ready-made replacement to be City’s new number one.
Laporte is one of the key players for Athletic Bilbao and a large part of the reason as to why they continue to punch above their weight in La Liga. Currently on the sidelines from injury Laporte still has years to improve on his game and would be the perfect man for Pep to mould into a world class centre half. Whether that be to play alongside Vincent Kompany or even replace the Belgian remains to be seen.
Gundogan is currently injured, but that’s unlikely to deter potential suitors. The German is a hugely vital cog in the Borussia Dortmund machine as he transforms defence into attack with his passing but might be alarmed to have had another season being second best in the Bundesliga behind Bayern. Gundogan is good enough to play in pretty much any midfield in the world and is by some stretch better than what City have in his role.
Thiago is a Guardiola favourite. The Spanish midfielder dictates the tempo of a game and came though the Barcelona youth system when Pep was in charge at the Nou Camp. He then followed the former Barca man to Bayern Munich where he has continued his progress into one of the best passers in the game, learning from Xabi Alonso. Thiago might fancy following Pep once more, bringing his manager’s tactics into the centre of the park to hasten the transformation process.
Sane has made a name for himself this year with Schalke and is set for a bright career in the game. Guardiola will have examined Sane’s talent first hand when playing his team in the Bundesliga and will have liked what he’s seen from the young wide-man. Sane should start in City’s team if they sign him, Jesus Navas isn’t really good enough and Raheem Sterling hasn’t settled since his move from Liverpool.
The Frenchman is set to be one of the hottest properties in the upcoming transfer window thanks to his heroics at Atletico Madrid. Griezmann can play as a left winger or, as he does more frequently now, as a second striker. He’s quick and a lethal finisher but what makes him a possible Guardiola target is his high work rate, something the Spaniard expects of his team. He’s sure to command a hefty transfer fee but if any team can afford it, it’s Manchester City.
According to The Sun the Brazilian right back has been in contact with Juventus and one English club. Who that English club is, is up for debate but Alves is one player who would help implement Guardiola’s tactics on the pitch. Alves flies up and down the right flank helping push Barcelona forward and is also a half decent defender. He might be getting older but he’s still world class and better than Pablo Zabaleta.
This would be interesting. Real Madrid and Pep Guardiola are obviously not on the best terms but Kroos has not exactly been a massive hit with Madrid fans either due to Luka Modric being the main man in centre midfield. The German and Guardiola worked together at Bayern and Kroos keeps the ball as good as anyone – exactly what Pep wants – so any interest could spark a move, especially if Kroos wants out of the Bernabeu.