Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is preparing a massive summer spending spree with more than £250million worth of talent wanted by the Spaniard. The City boss is also ready to wield the axe at the Etihad Stadium with as much as seven squad players set for a departure this summer.
Both the Daily Star and The Telegraph believe numerous players have been identified for the next generation of City stars with much of the old guard expected to depart the club finally. As the defence remains the primary concern for Guardiola, Southampton duo Ryan Bertrand and Virgil Van Dijk have been identified as the suitable additions and a replacement for Gael Clichy.
Clichy’s contract at City expires in the summer, and Bertrand would not only be an adequate replacement for the three-time Premier League champion but also fill a homegrown spot that is demanded by the FA. His fellow Southampton team-mate Van Dijk is noted as the ideal Guardiola centre-back and could form a formidable partnership with John Stones. With Bertrand aged just 27, and Van Dijk 25, the average age of the squad would already decrease with the acquisition of this formidable defensive duo.
Atletico Madrid midfielder Koke is considered the ideal upgrade and replacement on a bleak City midfield. The Spaniard continues to impress, and reports now suggest City are hopeful of finding a deal with Atletico Madrid to take the 24-year-old to the Etihad Stadium. Koke isn’t expected to replace Yaya Toure however, as the Ivorian is expected to be offered a new deal this summer – with his contract expiring in July.
With Jesus Navas scheduled to leave City, also on a free, Guardiola has identified Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez as the player he wants to replace the Spaniard. Navas is sure to depart Manchester after a four-year spell with the Blues. Sanchez is currently locked in contract talks with Arsenal, and no agreement has been reached, and many are of the belief the Chile international will depart for pastures new.
Pep Guardiola is expected to revive interest in Borussia Dortmund forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang also. The Gabon forward has scored a whopping 20 goals in just 22 games for the Bundesliga outfit this campaign and Real Madrid are believed to be keeping a watchful eye on his situation in Germany.
BILD reported that Dortmund would be prepared to listen to offers for Aubameyang if any potential suitors would meet their valuation of €70million.
“For now I’m very happy at Dortmund,” Aubameyang said. “I’ve had enough of talking about it, but this is not the right moment for me to join a club such as Real Madrid.”
Pablo Zabaleta, Willy Caballero, Fabian Delph, Joe Hart, Wilfried Bony, Samir Nasri and Eliaquim Mangala are all set to end their association with City this summer as the club prepare to put the Guardiola stamp of approval on things at the Etihad Stadium.