Pep Guardiola to overhaul Manchester City squad?

By Ric Turner, Thu 19 May 2016 14:43

Pep Guardiola to overhaul Manchester City squad?A look at some of the new manager's rumoured transfer targets

Now that the 2015/16 season is finally over, Manchester City will begin preparing for life under new manager Pep Guardiola. Last season was something of a disappointing season for the Sky Blues, with a top four place (and thus Champions League football next season) only secured on the final day of the campaign, with an underwhelming 1-1 draw at Swansea City's Liberty Stadium. Manchester United's subsequent 3-1 victory over Bournemouth (after the original game was postponed due to a bomb scare) meant that City pipped their rivals on goal difference.

Whilst Manuel Pellegrini could point to progression in the Champions League, where City reached the semi-finals for the first time in their history, and a Capital One Cup victory over Liverpool, many City fans feel that the team regressed under the Chilean manager. With many senior players, such as Yaya Toure, Vincent Kompany and Pablo Zabaleta, all over thirty years of age, City's squad is in need of major surgery, and it is a daunting task facing Guardiola when he starts his new job in July.

Below, we look at some of the most likely transfer targets for the incoming manager:

Ilkay Gündogan

The 25 year-old Borussia Dortmund midfielder was expected to be Guardiola's first signing as Manchester City manager, but a freak injury has thrown the move into doubt. Gundogan dislocated his kneecap whilst playing basketball recently, and is expected to be sidelined for around five months, which would see him miss the start of next season. The Manchester Evening News claim that City will still proceed with the deal regardless, but there are doubts over his long-term fitness.

Toni Kroos

Guardiola is a known admirer of the German international, and was angered when Bayern Munich sold the player to Real Madrid without his consent in 2014. Kroos was a peripheral figure under Rafa Benitez, but has thrived under new manager Zinedine Zidane, and the Daily Mail recently reported that Kroos could yet sign a contract extension at the Bernabeu.

Aymeric Laporte

Similar to Gundogan, Laporte also suffered a serious injury recently when a move to Manchester appeared to be imminent. The Athletic Bilbao defender suffered a broken leg and dislocated ankle whilst playing for the France under-21 team in March, and isn't expected to recover until August. Laporte signed a contract extension with the Basque side last summer, but it is rumoured to contain a €50m release clause that City may be willing to activate.

Leroy Sane

The young attacking midfielder, who plays for Schalke 04, was something of a surprise name in Germany's provisional 2016 squad, although Guardiola has admired the player for some time. City's incoming manager said last year: "Leroy Sane is a huge talent and I can only congratulate Germany on having a talent like him". Manchester United are also thought to have expressed an interest in the player, and Schalke will be hoping that it triggers a bidding war between the two Manchester giants.

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