Even after capturing one of the world’s most prolific forwards, Pep Guardiola’s relentless pursuit of perfection means Manchester City will need to bolster the squad even further this summer. While supporters enjoy Erling Haaland’s signature, city officials have already moved on to other transfer targets.
A clinical number nine was the number one priority, but strengthening other parts of the squad will be crucial to ensure the team can compete on all four fronts next season. So, as usual, everyone is asking the same question – who should be next?
Amid the chaos on the final day of the Premier League, the Etihad stalwarts bid a fond farewell to club captain Fernandinho after more than eight years of outstanding service. His leadership, presence and all-round ability will be sorely missed, but City must look for a way to replace him.
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Rodri has performed at elite level for the past 12 months and is likely to be Pep Guardiola’s first-choice at number six, but with the number of games City are playing, he needs some rest now and then. Plus, another quality option in that area keeps the competition for places very hot.
The obvious name currently on everyone’s lips is Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips. The so-called ‘Yorkshire Pirlo’ has really impressed fans and pundits since the Whites were promoted to the Premier League and is even a fixture in Gareth Southgate’s England squad.
His versatility and superb passing will impress Guardiola and it is no surprise that he has been linked with a move to the Etihad Stadium. However, with Leeds surviving the final day fall, they have much more bargaining power when it comes to a transfer fee.
If a deal for Phillips expires, City could choose to stop rumors of Marc Cucurella’s move to the Northwest. Following his breakthrough season at Brighton and Hove Albion, the Spaniard is being touted as the man to solve City’s left-back problems.
Joaoo Cancelo has been excellent in that position all season, but with Oleksandr Zinchenko being linked with a departure from the club, options in that part of the field risk being severely exhausted and Cucurella – with plenty of wiggle room to develop – could be a cheaper option to use in rotation.
Other recruiting areas could depend on who leaves the club, with Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling and the aforementioned Oleksandr Zinchenko all facing an uncertain future.
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