What City want from this summer’s transfer window
By Bluemoon Staff, Thu 27 April 2023 12:44
Things are looking good for Pep and his side as City are edging ever closer to claiming their first ever Champions League trophy following victory in their Champions League quarter-final over German giants Bayern Munich. The 4-1 aggregate win over the Bavarians set up an opportunity for revenge in the semi-finals with Carlo Ancelotti’s Real Madrid. In the league, the Sky Blues are hitting their customary end of season form in the title race as pressure begins to mount on Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal. And in the FA Cup, City are resounding favourites to overcome Sheffield United in the semis and go on to lift the trophy aloft at Wembley for the seventh time and the first since 2019. It feels like business as usual for now with the team still competing for all major honours in the run-in and the prospect of a fabled treble within touching distance, but when the final whistle blows and the sun sets on what is hopefully another successful season for the the Cityzens, a real shake up is on the cards. Last year saw a sweeping change of personnel at the Etihad with four key players all heading for the exit to freshen up the squad ahead of this season. Should City fall short of the mark in the league or in Europe, there’s nothing to say it couldn’t happen again. Here’s our look at what could happen in the upcoming transfer window.
Another big summer clearout?
Fernandinho, Gabriel Jesus, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Raheem Sterling were four players absolutely crucial to the team’s success for five years or more. All of them left for pastures new last summer as a new crop was brought in to fill in the gaps. Kalvin Philips , Julian Alvarez, Manuel Akanji and of course the indomitable Erling Haaland were brought in to fill the gap and have all contributed to the side this season with City getting back to their best and at times utterly dismantling the competition both domestically and across Europe. Man City are the x/x favourites to win the Champions League according to new bettings sites. With Pep’s decision to refresh the squad rather than retain some sentimental favourites who wanted more game time last year proving to be a resounding success, who’s to say he doesn’t opt for a similar approach again? There have been a number of players rumoured to be unhappy with their current situation at the Etihad and so it’s not so farfetched to think that four or five big names will be playing their football elsewhere in 2023/24. Among those names is club captain Ilkay Gundogan who is out of contract in a few months and while the club are hopeful of signing the German International to a new deal, there is significant interest from Barcelona and the clock might just run out before this one gets across the line. His midfield partner Bernardo Silva is in a similar boat to Gundogan in that the Spanish giants have long been interested in obtaining his services. The difference here is Silva has made clear his aspirations to return to mainland Europe for years now and with his persistent rejection of contract proposals from the club, he seems destined to depart. Compatriot Joao Cancelo is similarly unhappy with his current situation after a falling out with Pep, so much so that the boss loaned him to Bayern for the rest of the season rather than disrupt the squad any further, so unless that relationship mends he is another set to leave. Aymeric Laporte is another name who the club have wanted to renegotiate with for some time now but a lack of minutes on the pitch has the Spanish International setting his sights on a move elsewhere come the summer. There is enough depth to cope should these big hitters depart but Pep will still want to delve into his pockets to maintain this evolutionary approach to maintaining his squad.
What areas will City look to strengthen?
A new centre-back, midfielder and winger are believed to be on Pep Guardiola's shopping list, and the rumour mill continues to link the reigning Premier League champions with a host of top talents across the globe. Of those, it’s the midfield that will need the most attention. As previously mentioned Gundogan and Silva look to be heading elsewhere, De Bruyne is putting in world-class performances week after week but he will be 31-years-old at the start of next season, and Phillips was a good addition but is yet to settle at the Etihad. They need a young talented midfielder to bolster their ranks for the next few years and the big money signing to do that will likely be Jude Bellingham. The 19-year-old superstar has impressed since arriving at Borussia Dortmund and his performances haven’t gone unnoticed. The level of maturity and professionalism at such a young age has made him one of Europe’s hottest properties and there will likely be no better place to further develop his skills than at City under the tutelage of one of the best managers in the world. He will fetch a gargantuan fee, likely to be north of £100 million but he would be worth every penny and there is no more appealing proposition for him should he fancy a return back to England.
In terms of wingers City are not short of options as Jack Grealish has come into his own and Phil Foden has been brilliant when asked to do a job out on the wide channel. With that said, it is likely Guardiola will look to acquiring defenders next and there are two names rumoured to be on his radar. Josko Gvardiol is widely regarded as one of the best young defenders in Europe and has been admired by Guardiola for some time. RB Leipzig’s centre back had a sensational World Cup with Croatia in December of 2022 which elevated his game to new heights and he is still only 21-years-old. He is currently under contract with the German outfit until 2027 but has expressed his desire to play in England’s top flight, putting City on notice. Alongside the Croatian on Pep’s priority list is Chelsea’s Ben Chilwell who is rumoured to be one of 12 names leaving Stamford Bridge this summer. With the Cancelo situation still up in the air, chances are Pep will need a left back and Chilwell has been highly rated by the Argentinian since 2020. The signs are clear, regardless of whether City claim their seventh Premier League or not, this summer is going to be a busy one for Pep and his backroom staff.