Manchester City to kick-start Guardiola era by signing 4 or 4 top-class players

By Daily Sports on March 22, 2016

Views: 1,192

Manchester City will give Pep Guardiola their full backing to overhaul their faltering squad with at least four or five big-name arrivals this summer, Goal reports.

It is believed that the mobile phones of both Guardiola and City sporting director Txiki Begiristain have been inundated with calls from agents representing top talent from the Premier League, La Liga, the Bundesliga and elsewhere.

Senior figures at the Etihad Stadium are also keen for Guardiola to stay at the club beyond his three-year contract, which will start on July 1 whether City qualify for the Champions League or not.

The club’s current league standing is a situation considered far from ideal in the corridors of power, however.

Manuel Pellegrini’s men were left nervously looking over their shoulders after losing 1-0 to rivals Manchester United on Sunday, a result which leaves the Blues just one point above West Ham and two above the Red Devils.

But plans for next season are already under way and a number of top-class players are being lined up to help Guardiola hit the ground running.

Goal sources understand a deal for Ilkay Gundogan, the Borussia Dortmund midfielder, is close to being completed. His uncle and agent met with Begiristain at an Amsterdam hotel earlier in March and both Juventus and Barcelona have dropped out of the race.

But City are also in the race for Juventus star Paul Pogba, who left United in 2012 after failing to break into the first team under Sir Alex Ferguson, while Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos, who worked with Guardiola for one season at Bayern Munich, may also be of interest should he be made available this summer.

The Blues have spent over £75m on centre-backs in the last two summers, with Eliaquim Mangala and Nicolas Otamendi joining from Porto and Valencia, respectively, but they are set to enter the market again with big-money moves for Everton’s John Stones and Athletic Club’s Aymeric Laporte being lined up.

The club’s existing young players have also been earmarked to freshen up an ageing squad, with Spanish midfielders Manu and Aleix Garcia and Manchester-born centre-back Tosin Adarabioyo expected to build on their experiences of the first-team this season.

Jason Denayer is expected to be recalled from his loan spell at Galatasaray, where he has been playing at right-back, while Brahim Diaz, the supremely talented 16-year-old, could see action in the League Cup next season.

It is hoped that the new boss will reap the benefits of City’s thriving academy and that, by 2021, half of the playing squad will be homegrown.

City sources are supremely confident that Guardiola can succeed where Roberto Mancini and Pellegrini failed, and build a lasting dynasty in east Manchester.

Guardiola laid the foundations for Barcelona’s enduring dominance of the European football scene and, even if his overall success at Bayern will be judged on whether or not he wins the Champions League this year, he has implemented an attacking, dominant brand of football at the Allianz Arena.

City would be thrilled if he can reach those heights during his time in England and they are buoyed by the fact that Guardiola will feel among friends when he arrives for work this summer.

As previously reported by Goal, City sources believe they will be able to provide the Catalan with an environment in which he can enjoy his football once more after three intense, often combustible years in Bavaria.

Repeated run-ins with the club’s medical staff led to Hans-Wilhelm Müller-Wohlfahrt, who also works with the Germany national squad, leaving his role with the Bundesliga powerhouse last April.

But Guardiola will join up with former Barcelona colleagues Begiristain and Ferran Soriano, the CEO, this summer, while Omar Berrada, the City Football Group’s commercial director, was also employed at Camp Nou.

Begiristain will retain control of transfers but he and Guardiola are friends since playing together in the Barcelona Dream Team of the early 1990s and, having already discussed strategy on a number of occasions, there are not expected to be any issues for the kind he has faced in Munich.

The coach had intended to build his side around Kroos, only for him to be sold to Real Madrid.

It is hoped that this cordial environment will convince Guardiola to extend his stay at the club, although should he leave at the end of his three-year deal, it is hoped that Patrick Vieira will be in a position to return to the Etihad and take the reins.

•Photo shows incoming Manchester City Manager Pep Guardiola.

Source Daily Sports

Posted March 22, 2016

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