On back of a tough campaign and losing Leroy Sane, Manchester City are not messing around this summer. It’s just been about a week since finals Premier League game and City have already found an agreement with Valencia for Ferran Torres and with Bournemouth for Nathan Ake, with official announcements expected soon.
And with more of high profile players already linked with a move to the Etihad, Txiki Begiristain, City’s director of football made it clear last week that – If players are recruited to improve Pep Guardiola’s squad at helm, others currently in the squad will have to make way. Pep prefers to work with smaller group of players, something which we even saw last season that there was no room in the enlarged 20-man matchday squads for any academy players.
Since Vincent Kompany left, City have failed to fill the void in defence and centre-back is City’s top priority going into summer. Nathan Ake will certainly not be an end of the pursuit of fresh faces in that position; with Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly remains linked.
Now additions at the heart of the defence has to worry the current defence, with duo of John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi particularly vulnerable to be retained. The duo have rarely featured for the Cityzens this season owing to poor form and injuries, and emergence of Eric Garcia alongside Aymeric Laporte since the restart has further depleted their importance in this squad.
Meanwhile, with Barcelona keen, Guardiola & the club officials are fighting to keep Eric Garcia, but John Stones future at the Etihad also looks highly uncertain with talks expected over his future on back of a highly frustrating year for the 26-year-old.
Since Mikel Arteta took over the reins at the Emirates, Arsenal have been highly linked with Stones, while there also are rumours of a reunion with David Moyes at West Ham. However, despite the East London side being in market for centre-backs the fee and wage structure that Stones would come with appears to rule out the possibility of any move to materialize unless there is a dramatic development – and that sums up the issue City will have if they try to move John on.
Stones would certainly be a gamble for any club considering the way he was unable to command his place in Pep Guardiola’s side over the last eighteen months, yet it will also be a struggle to find an ambitious club who’d afford the finances Stones comes with.
Manchester City have had an early success in recruitment this summer, but it will be harder to balance this squad with departures.