Sports Monks

Manchester City Transfer News & Rumours – Season 2019-2020

Manchester City 19-20

Manchester City defied the odds once more last season, becoming the first team in a decade to successfully defend their Premier League crown, as well as the first team to ever win the domestic treble (The Carabao Cup, The FA Cup and the Premier League). What was even more commendable was the fact that they challenged for all 4 available trophies all the way up to mid-April, when a rejuvenated Tottenham Hotspur side knocked them out (albeit slightly controversially) of the Champions League.

If that wasn’t remarkable enough, the Cityzen’s best player – Kevin De Bruyne – missed the vast majority of the season, picking up 3 major injuries across the campaign. To underline how good he is, he picked up the man of the match award in the FA Cup final despite playing a mere 35 minutes as a substitute.

Although City’s squad looks as good as any on the planet, City fans will tell you that it does need some embellishing. It is correctly said, that if you’re in a lane as fast as the Premier League, and you aren’t moving ahead, then you’re essentially moving back. Riyad Mahrez was the only player signed last summer, and he vindicated the decision to splash £60m for his services. I expect around 3-4 signings this time around, all of which could potentially usurp that 60m mark.

The main area needing improvement remains the defensive midfield role (DM henceforth). With an injury to Fernandinho, Gundogan admirably stepped in, and played the best 3 months of his life to make it feel like that there was nothing worrying to begin with. However, Gundogan remains a more creative, progressive player, than one who is more robust and can go about breaking opposition plays and winning the ball back. Hence, the arrival of Rodi from Atletico Madrid looks to be firmly on the cards. The Spanish DM would add much needed height and physicality to this very technical side, and would cost €70m (To trigger his release clause).

Further steel will be required in the heart of defence, with club captain Vincent Kompany moving on to a player-manager role at Anderlecht. Kompany was City’s best defender, and one of the best in the league, and hence will leave a huge void, both ability-wise and leadership-wise. My personal choice to replace him will be Ajax’s Matthijs De Ligt, who could be available in the £60m – £75m range. The generational Ajax talent will be more than worthy of the transfer fee, with the only stumbling block being his wages and his agent’s commission. Mino Raiola (the agent) is famous for being a very tough person to negotiate with, and his exorbitantly high commission demands have recently landed him a 3 month ban. City have refused to budge on their wage structure thus far, and it remains to be seen if De Ligt will lower his own demands should he be guaranteed first team football. A Laporte & De Ligt centre half partnership will be a scary sight for opposition attackers.

With Benjamin Mendy having spent almost the entirety of 2 seasons regrettably injured, Oleksandr Zinchenko has made that spot his own, and under Guradiola’s tutelage, become one of the finest left backs in the country. A new left back signing therefore, does not seem to be a high priority.

That being said, the Brazilian full back Danilo looks set to move on to the Serie A in search of more playing time, and so a replacement right back will be on the cards. Joao Cancelo of Juventus has been mentioned by the press, but it will require another €60m bid to land him. Further, although he will add a whole new dimension to Manchester City, I doubt 2 world class full backs in him and Walker will be very keen on splitting game time, hence Cancelo looks a slightly unlikely target. A utility full back though must be added, and it remains to be seen if rising star Aaron Wan Bissaka of Crystal Palace may be that man, with a view to making him first choice in the next 1.5 seasons.

Among departures, Leroy Sane looks most concerning. The German’s lack of game time towards the 2nd half of the season has prompted Bayern Munich to take notice. I personally can’t see Sane moving this summer, for neither would City be willing to sell unless a transfer request is handed, and nor would Bayern be in a position to cough up £100m+ for Sane, given their lavish spending on their defence already this summer. Nicolas Otamendi looked set to leave, but Kompany’s departure seems to have stalled it, at least for the time being. Contract rebel Ilkay Gundogan is expected to sign a new and improved deal within the next quarter, so that nips any expected transfer saga in the bud. I expect backup goalkeeper Claudio Bravo to stay on for one more season, as a long term ACL injury would have added further doubt in the minds of potential suitors about an already ageing goalkeeper.

This season too, with the addition of more quality, Guardiola will be utterly spoilt for choice with the players at his disposal. It is imperative yet again for him to find the perfect balance to keep all his players happy, and the team gelling as one, as they fight once more for the elusive quadruple, and the “Three-peat” Premier League win.

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