Where Will Pep Guardiola Look To Strengthen Manchester City This Summer And Who Are The Potential Targets?

Where Will Pep Guardiola Look To Strengthen Manchester City This Summer And Who Are The Potential Targets?
16:55, 18 Apr 2018

No sooner have City been crowned champions than Pep Guardiola will be looking at potential transfer targets to strengthen his side for next season.

The World Cup always complicates matters and inflates prices so as ever getting business done early will be crucial.

Here are the areas in which Pep may want new faces and some potential targets:

Left back

Part of the reason City have been so successful this season is Pep’s ability to adapt to injuries. It was a gamble bringing in only one left back at the start of last season and typically, Benjamin Mendy was ruled out for the season early on following his ACL injury.

Fabian Delph and Oleks Zinchenko did a fine job covering for Mendy but it would seem foolish not to invest there for the coming season.

Delph can be a key utility player for Guardiola while Zinchenko may well be loaned out next season.

Kieran Tierney

The 20-year-old Scot has made an impressive start to his career at Celtic and while many may think he is far from the finished article, what better way forward than to let Pep mould him into top player.

Fast, athletic with an eye for goal and clinical passing, the Isle of Man native has already captained both his club and his country.

Faouzi Ghoulam

Despite suffering the same injury that ended Benjamin Mendy’s season (ironically in the Champions League tie against City) the Algerian is very much in the mould of Guardiola’s preferred full backs.

Much like Kyle Walker Ghoulam is a powerful athlete and would fit in well with City’s style of play having honed his skills with Napoli after he burst onto the scene in France with St Etienne.

Now 27, he may feel the time is right to fulfil his potential at City.

Central midfield

While the trio of David Silva, Fernandinho and De Bruyne have been such a pivotal part of City this season there has already been reference to the future from Guardiola.

Fernandinho is simply irreplaceable in this City side and Silva may not feature as frequently moving forward with both players the wrong side of 30. That leaves on Gundogan as cover.

With Yaya Toure’s imminent departure and wonder kid Phil Foden still only 17, it is likely City will need some new faces.

Fred

City will face stiff competition (not least from United) for the much coveted Brazilian who caught the eye during Shakhtar Donetsk’s impressive Champions League campaign.

Much like a young Fernandinho, Fred is an all action dynamo who has recently added a lovely free kick to his repertoire. At only 25 he fits the bill.

A deal seemed imminent in Janaury but things appear to have gone cold more recently.

Julian Weigl

Guardiola has long been an admirer of the 22-year-old German who has already built up a solid reputation with Germany.

A genuine defensive holder in the mould of Sergio Busquets he would be a good addition to City’s ranks.

Thiago Alcantara

The man brought to Munich by Guardiola is a typical Pep player, the diminutive playmaker with a footballing brain.

But it seems unlikely new Bayern boss Robert Kovac will want to lose him and given his age (27) and injury record there may be a bit more newspaper talk in this one than genuine truth. That said he would also add experience and verve to any side.

Jorginho

The Brazilian born Italian national is a real class act at the heart of Maurizzio Sarri’s much-admired Napoli side and Pep has made no secret of his love of that side and the player himself.

A genuine all-rounder he oozes class and there is very little he cannot do. The rangy 26-year-old may well be looking for a new challenge after this season, regardless of whether Napoli get their hands on that illusive scudetto and in terms of the full package seems the best fit for City.

Again – the competition for his signature will be stiff.

Central defence

Despite Nicolas Otamendi’s inclusion in the PFA team of the year, there are still long-term doubts over the Argentine.

And with Vincent Kompany a year older there may be some thought as to whether Pep may want another centre-half in as cover for the season ahead.

Toby Aldwerweireld

The Belgian has missed nearly the entire season for Spurs but is still a much-admired player.

Coupled with contract talks having stalled many of Europe’s top clubs may feel now is the time to strike if they wish to land the 29-year-old.

Kalidou Koulibaly

Another Napoli star, ‘K2’ as he is affectionately known to The Partenopei faithful has overcome concentration lapses earlier in his career to become a colossus at the heart of Sarri’s defence.

Never anything other than calm and like all Sarri’s team, very comfortable on the ball the 26-year-old Senegalese defender has all the attributes Guardiola likes in his defenders.