Three things that must happen for Manchester City to count deadline day as a success
By all accounts it’s been an excellent summer’s work by Pep Guardiola with time ticking until the transfer window closes later tonight, getting most of his business done as the season ended.
It seems like a lifetime ago considering the events of the window but, just a fortnight after City’s final Premier League match of the season, the Spaniard had already signed Bernardo Silva in a £43 million move from Monaco and secured Benfica’s goalkeeper Ederson Moraes for £35 million.
He then firmly went to work on his aging defence, releasing the likes of Bacary Sagna, Gael Clichy and Pablo Zabaleta and replacing them with Kyle Walker, Monaco’s Benjamin Mendy and Real Madrid’s Danilo.
This – allied with the addition of highly-rated Brazilian Douglas Luiz for £10 million – took City’s overall summer spending close to the £200million mark, and since then things seem to have died down a little.
But Guardiola has come alive once more as transfer deadline day approaches, and The Boot Room takes a look at three things that need to happen before the 11pm deadline for City to call the day a success.
Alexis Sanchez needs to join from Arsenal
On the face of things, Manchester City’s attacking options are already more than sufficient enough to challenge for both the Premier League and, potentially, for the Champions League this campaign.
With speculation over a move for Alexis Sanchez growing substantially over the summer – and even more so over the past few days – Pep Guardiola will feel frustrated if he does not manage to secure a deal.
The latest is that Arsenal have rejected an initial offer of £50 million for the Chilean talisman, with Manchester City keen on just offering a straightforward cash deal despite the notoriously mysterious ‘Sky Sports sources’ claiming yesterday that Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero could form swap deals.
However, with Sanchez’s body language for the best part of six months all-but showing he’s fed up and frustrated with life at the Emirates, there seems no better time for City to strike and bring him in.
Should they manage it then it almost alleviates their status to title favourites, with the concept of Sanchez, Gabriel Jesus, Kevin de Bruyne et al. a simply tantalising and mouth-watering one for City.
Tony Pulis gives in and lets Jonny Evans leave
It is a move that not many people would have expected heading into the summer transfer window but Pep Guardiola seems intent on bolstering his defensive options with West Brom’s Jonny Evans.
BBC Sport have already reported that Manchester City have seen an opening offer of £18 million rejected, being far below the Baggies’ £30 million valuation, but an improved bid seems imminent.
Although signing a West Brom player seems like a bit of an anomaly considering City’s other signings have arrived from the likes of Monaco, Real Madrid and Benfica, securing the services of an experienced Premier League centre-back – who has big-game pedigree at Manchester United – may be a smart idea.
The 29-year-old has featured 31 times in the Champions League for City’s fierce rivals and has been the spear-head for West Brom’s revival in recent years, and it seems a move is simply a matter of time.
Four fringe players need to be offloaded
Pep Guardiola started the summer transfer window by offloading several squad players and he will no doubt be looking to end it in a similar fashion with a number of players still looking for new clubs.
Eliaquim Mangala has little hope of getting into the Manchester City first-team this season – especially if City are successful in their chase of Evans – and the same can be said for fellow centre-back Jason Denayer, who the Daily Record believe is close to a return to Turkish side Galatasaray on a season-long loan.
Further up the field, the future of Fabian Delph remains firmly in the balance amidst rumours from the Daily Mail that Stoke City are circling in on a £10 million move as Mark Hughes’ final summer arrival.
Finally Wilfried Bony looks poised to return to his former side Swansea City after a torrid two year stint in Manchester, with the Mirror claiming the Swans are willing to fork out £13 million to re-sign him.
Despite the fact that this would represent a significant loss on the £28million that the Blues paid for the Ivorian in 2015, Guardiola knows he is surplus to requirements and will try to recoup as much as possible.
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