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Who Could Man City Sign as Pep Targets a 200m Summer Spending Spree

Despite becoming the first team to successfully retain the Premier League title for the first time in a decade, Man City manager Pep Guardiola will target up to four new signings this summer.

A fresh financial fair play scandal has re-surfaced since City won the league after beating Brighton 4-1 on Sunday. Yet despite the success, Guardiola is set to strengthen the squad as he aims to conquer Europe for the first time since 2011.

With a reported 200 million budget set to become open at the Etihad, who could come to the Etihad this season as the likes of Nicolas Otamendi, Fabian Delph and Eliaquim Mangala and Danilo all look set to leave the Premier League champions this summer.

We take a look at some potentials…

Matthijs de Ligt

Having recently turned down a move across town to Man United, The Ajax defender may look over to the east side of Manchester as he looks set to leave Holland.

City look set to move for a new centre back this summer and De Ligt could be a key addition. Yet with Barcelona looking like favourites ahead of the blues, Guardiola may miss out, just like with Jorginho 12 months ago.

Rodri

The Atletico Madrid man could swap clubs with Otamendi this summer and indeed replace Fernandinho in the holding midfield role. The 34-year-old is not getting any younger these days either and, Ilkay Gundogan may not be the man to fill the role particularly in the big European games.

According to the Telegraph, City will meet Atletico’s 60 million request for Rodri. With the CDM role such a priority, the chances are this price will be met and equal the club transfer record currently held by Riyad Mahrez.

Harry Maguire

Featuring as a potential signing for Man United last week by thefootballmancave.com, Maguire may not be a bad move to City either and finding negatives for the England international is a tricky one.

Admired by Guardiola, Maguire knows the league better than any up and coming foreign star. At 26 years old, he can play in this City team with John Stones and Aymeric Laporte for many years to come. Captain Vincent Kompany may extend his contract by another year too.

Arsenal and Chelsea will join the Manchester clubs in the hunt at a price of 60 million.

Houssem Aouar

Premier League rivals Liverpool will do battle with City off the pitch this summer before they go again next August on it.

Aouar can play in a variety of midfield roles including the ‘number six’ position, one that will bring music to Guardiola’s ears. Having scored seven goals in his breakthrough Ligue 1 season.

In the Champions League last season, the blues only took one point out of a possible six against the French team. Having been described as ‘incredible’ by the Catalan, it would be no surprise to see him in sky blue come pre-season.

Two of Man City’s Ageing Players Pep Has To Look For Long Term Replacements This Summer

Manchester City’s squad contains some of the most exciting young talents in football, however, it also has plenty of players who have been with the club since their first taste of success.

There is no escaping the fact that some of these old fan favourites will at some point need to leave the club. City are always evolving and looking for the best players out there, and no doubt the players below have provided more than enough value for their money, and they’ll be sure to try to find similar long term investments.

With the old guard soon to be outgoing, Pep Guardiola’s team will be looking to seamlessly integrate any new signings possibly this season with City looking to tie up their summer deals as quick as possible with the club on the verge of back-to-back titles.

We have a look at the two players below…

Sergio Aguero

I hope Aguero is with the club until he retires. However, part of what has made City so imperious is their incredible front line. There are some seriously talented players but none quite as sharp footed. Sterling looks a potential heir to that throne, but then who replaces Sterling? With Mahrez maybe not to the standard, it’s maybe time to start looking for another star striker.

Vincent Kompany

Another one that might not be well received! I don’t want to see Vinny out and again hope he stays with City until he retires. But the captain is an important role to fill and fill correctly. While occasionally hot-headed he is a loyal, passionate player who will wear his heart in his sleeve and be very unselfish in many ways as well as an excellent leader to the many young player’s City has.

A huge act to follow and it would be a hard man to replace. It is more likely that the likes of John Stones will fill this role, but then it’s making sure that there is another young player waiting in the wings as a deputy.

This looks set to be a fascinating transfer window across the whole league, but I imagine several neutral eyes will be on City, and a lot of summer talk will be about what Pep does.

City Fans can say a fond farewell to Nicolas Otamendi as he heads for the summer exit door

Nico Otamendi was a shining light in City’s 100 points title-winning season 12 months ago. Playing alongside one of either Vincent Kompany, John Stones or Aymeric Laporte, The Argentine became an irreplaceable figure in Pep Guardiola’s back line.

Many pundits called Otamendi for his defensive errors during his first two seasons in England, but after working with Pep Guardiola and his coaching staff, he had pundits and even fans eating their words for his huge improvement.

Yet, this season something has gone wrong for the Argentine finding himself out of the first-team action, particularly in the Premier League. Mostly due to the partnership built by John Stones and Aymeric Laporte, the centre backs warrior-like approach has been well down the pecking order in City’s title defence.

Due to the fact, the Blues are on course to retain their title, with a projected total of 98 points-pipping Liverpool to the title by a point and within a potential domestic treble – Premier League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup, the decision taken to bench Otamendi has been hard to disagree with.

Clearly unhappy with his lack of game time, the man nicknamed ‘The General’  now looks ready to leave the City project for a new challenge, here in England or even abroad.

Linked with Wolves, West Ham or a return to Spain with Valencia, any club wanting to recruit a new centre back should give careful consideration at least. There is no reason to suggest he couldn’t slide straight into a top Champions League club defence.

Atletico Madrid are that leading club chasing the City defenders signature. Diego Simeone’s side certainly knows what they’re purchasing. A player with a no-nonsense approach to defending with a risk-free gun-ho approach to the beautiful game. Should Otamendi come out of a 50/50 duel as the winning man, he looks a world beater. If he’s the loser in the challenge, he can look the obvious weak link in City’s current back four.

Pep Guardiola’s quest for domestic and European dominance will go on with or without City’s General. But this departure will hurt more than most at the Etihad. His performance levels last season means he deserves all the credit he will no doubt receive when he eventually departs Manchester.

Aymeric Laporte: City’s Invisible Rock

If you ever wanted to throw a foreign player right into the deep end of stereotypical English football grounds, Aymeric Laporte is probably the man to ask.

In the space of his first sixteen days, The French defender had already taken on Burnley and Wigan Athletic, hardly teams who play football Laporte would have experienced when at previous club Athletic Bilbao.

His experiences at Turf Moor and The DW have most probably been forgotten. The form he is in currently, no City fan will remember Laporte’s slightly rocky start in English football.

Seven months on and City’s January buy is playing in near enough the form of his life. His performance against Fulham last Saturday was as good as it gets. With the ball, his pass completion rate was 95.7% and won 75% of his individual battles.

Add to that a further two clean sheets and a goal at Wolves, its been harder to find a better player in a sky blue shirt this season. At a joint high of six appearances, the Frenchman has fitted the demands of playing in a Guardiola system.

We all know the demands of playing in a defence managed by the Catalan. He doesn’t expect row Z defenders, he wants players as good with their feet as they are in 50/50 challenges. Laporte has done everything that the above states. His defensive ability is probably the best of City’s centre-back quartet, yet only one bad game and Laporte can find himself watching with his tracksuit on.

With John Stones, Vincent Kompany and Nicolas Otamendi as his rivals as well as teammates, one slip up and two of these defenders will be more than ready to take his place. One of which is the club Captain and fans favourite, the other was in last seasons team of the season.

In my view, Stones compliments Laporte the best, they look a ready-made partnership and fit Guardiola’s blueprint the best of any.

Perhaps that’s the biggest compliment to Aymeric Laporte. He’s keeping out Kompany and Otamendi which is no mean feat, let’s not forget they were City’s best centre-back partnership last season in the one hundred points title-winning season.

For all our sakes, let’s hope old Laporte can keep up this form. Nobody has mentioned how much he cost the club as of yet, surely that’s a good sign!