By 90Min
March 21, 2019

Despite the club remaining in the hunt for the unthinkable 'quadruple' this season, Pep Guardiola has been suggesting that Man City will still be looking to strengthen their squad in the summer. The Manchester club followed their 100-point, title-winning 2017/18 season with a summer of relatively modest spending (emphasis on 'relatively'). 

With the purchase of Riyad Mahrez their only major signing in the last off-season, it seems Guardiola is ready to spend big again this summer. Furthermore, when you consider that Man City are currently under investigation from UEFA over financial irregularities and the threat of an upcoming transfer ban looming large, the Citizens will want to splash the cash while they still can.

Although the prospect of the 'quadruple' remains, City have not quite hit the heights of last season with their performances this year, which could be a consequence of ageing players in key positions. With this in mind, here are four areas where Man City are likely to strengthen this summer.


Full Back

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The injury problems of the eccentric left-back Benjamin Mendy suggest that he may not be able to keep up with the intensity of fighting on four fronts for an entire season. This has left the Spanish manager with 22-year-old Ukrainian Oleksandr Zinchenko as the club's only senior left-back.

With full backs playing such a pivotal role in Guardiola's system wherever he has managed, he may be looking to spend money on a left-back to prevent him from having to rely on the promising - yet relatively inexperienced - Zinchenko or a makeshift left-back in the shape of Englishman, Fabian Delph.

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Leicester City's Ben Chilwell has been linked with a move to the Manchester club on several occasions this season as a result of his impressive performances at left-back for the Foxes. Guardiola may also be tempted by Real Betis left wing-back Junior Firpo. The 22-year-old Spaniard has shone in what has been a positive season for Betis and is able to deputise as a winger and as a centre-back. What could swing the balance in Firpo's favour is that his agent is Pere Guardiola - Pep's brother.


Centre Back

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Fan favourite and club captain Vincent Kompany's future at City remains unclear as his current deal with the club comes to an end in June. With the Belgian defender approaching his mid-30s and still having injury problems, the City manager may be considering a potential replacement in the summer. Whilst he has, by no means, been a mainstay in the City lineup in recent seasons, his influence in the dressing and at the club as a whole cannot be underestimated.

Were the Manchester club to lose a player of his presence and ability, only a top quality replacement would suffice. With Elaquim Mangala apparently frozen out, City would be left with John Stones, Nicolas Otamendi and Aymeric Laporte as their three senior centre-backs.

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Mattijs de Ligt of Ajax is on the radar of every major club in Europe at the moment. Given the Amsterdam club's inability to compete financially with the likes of City, De Ligt looks set to move on in the summer. Bournemouth's Nathan Ake has the ability to play with the ball at his feet and his versatility could make him an ideal fit for City. Guardiola has also been linked with Slovakian Inter centre-back, Milan Skriniar, whose performances for Inter have made him one of the most sought-after defenders in the world at the moment.


Defensive Midfielder

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The Manchester City manager has made no secret of the club's need to replace the currently-sidelined and ageing midfielder, Fernandinho. It has been argued that to stop Fernandinho playing well is to stop Man City playing well. Now 33, the Brazilian's best days are probably behind him. 

Bearing in mind that City's worst runs of form since Guardiola took over have tended to coincide with the absence of Fernandinho, this is perhaps the most important position to invest in this summer. Ilkay Gundogan has filled in excellently whilst the 33-year-old has been out injured, but his future at the club looks increasingly uncertain, so City may have to dip into the transfer kitty to find a replacement.

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The coming of age season for West Ham's Declan Rice has caught the eye of several big clubs. However, the 20-year-old Londoner signed a long-term contract with the Hammers at the end of last year, which could rule him out. Another option could be Atletico Madrid's Thomas Partey - the Ghanaian midfielder being one of the few bright sparks in Atleti's underwhelming season. Lyon's 22-year-old Tanguy Ndombele could be also be added to this list following his excellent season, including two impressive performances against City in the Champions League.


Attacking Midfielder

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With a wealth of talent in midfield, this may seem like the last position that City need to strengthen, but with David Silva recently turning 33, and Kevin De Bruyne spending large parts of this season in the physio room, Guardiola may see this as a key position in which to freshen up an ageing squad.

Man City do have young English prospect Phil Foden among their ranks, although Guardiola's sparing use of the teenager so far suggest he does not believe he is quite ready to make the step up.

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Tiago Dantas of Benfica has been tipped as the likely replacement of Brahim Diaz, who left for Real Madrid in January - especially after rumours that he turned down a new contract offer at the Portuguese club. Last but not least, Isco. The Spaniard has been linked with City before and may now be looking for a move to the Premier League as his Madrid future looks uncertain with the Spanish giants ready to spend big themselves in the summer.

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