Manchester City accumulated a total of 198 points in the 2017/18 and 2018/19 seasons in becoming the first side in a decade to retain the Premier League title. The Blues have now recorded four EPL titles over the past eight seasons, certifying that the decade will certainly be seen as belonging to them.
After their 2017/18 Premier League success, manager Pep Guardiola declared directly to his victorious players: “You’re the best team this league has ever seen.”
It seems even the best can always strive for improvement.
Following that first title for Pep in England, the changes were minimal; long-standing stalwart Yaya Toure was released, their double Premier League winner Joe Hart was finally, mercifully, sold, and the highest profile arrival being the record-signing of Riyad Mahrez emphasising the confidence Guardiola had in the squad he had both inherited - David Silva, Sergio Agüero, Kevin de Bruyne - and had helped assemble - Aymeric Laporte, Bernardo Silva, Kyle Walker.
And though it was a tighter squeeze in the subsequent season (in 17/18 they finished 19 points ahead of second-place Manchester United), the Cityzens finished just two points off their record-breaking centurion tally they had set the year before.
While last year the distraction of the World Cup provided the inter-season reprieve, transfer talk will once again dominate the summer, with Manchester City looking to strengthen in attempt to achieve a successive treble of Premier League titles, something that has only been achieved twice before.
Here are three potential sales Guardiola and City could potentially sanction in the off-season.
The German winger’s contract expires in 2021 and he has seen the chances of being a sure-fire starter slip away. There’s also the matter of reaffirming his importance to Joachim Löw’s national team set-up to consider, something Sané is not going to do from the bench. Though the 23-year-old finished with double figures in both goals and assists, this feat was made all the more remarkable that he made only 21 starts in the league out of the 38-game season. Bayern Munich are the interested party for the former PFA Young Player of the Year, meaning that it’s a likely return to the homeland after three years since his move from Schalke 04.
The £52million left-back from AS Monaco has made just 17 league appearances across the two seasons at Manchester City. Two serious knee injuries that have blighted his career since his move to the Etihad in 2017 has produced the remarkable record of the French defender winning six trophies in 22 games across the past year, a haul that includes the World Cup with the France national time in summer 2018. Questions are continually asked about his attitude - which he enthusiastically seems to inadvertently assert is more fit for a social media personality - and his work ethic during his recovery period. Still the 24-year-old finished joint-fifth for assists from a defender in the 18/19 season, with his talent without dispute. His future at City, however, is.
Another French defender who has featured even less than Mendy! Mangala was widely derided last year for picking up a winner’s medal - in full kit - after spending half the season on loan at Everton. Surprisingly the £40million remnant of the Manuel Pellegrini era signed a one-year contract extension in March 2019, though the likelihood is that this was done for monetary purposes, instead of Man City seeing the 28-year-old leave on a Bosman in the summer.