As the 2016/17 season closes, the minds of football fans shift to the shape of their squad in the next year.
The most exciting changes that occur over the summer happen in high-profile summer transfers, something that City have participated in since they were injected with funds in 2008.
Let’s look at three potential transfers for City this summer and how they could help round out the squad.
Sandro recently joined Juventus from FC Porto but immediately impressed, effectively filling the wing-back role that can be so crucial to last season’s Juve system.
Week in and week out, he demonstrates competence both defending and going forward. His passing and crossing have been accurate, and his positioning and pace help him fill both his responsibilities in his own half and the opponent’s. He is exactly the kind of fullback that Pep Guardiola desires, and from last summer’s window, we know that he isn’t afraid to splash City’s big funds to get his man.
Numbers as monolithic as €70m have been thrown around as speculation about Sandro’s transfer increases. A record fee for a fullback, but in the money-injected age of football, it is only fair, given Sandro’s impressive record.
A cheaper option may well turn out to be Tottenham defender Kyle Walker, but Sandro would be my ideal choice.
Another defensive-minded player that City would be delighted to sign is Fabinho. He seems to be the perfect mix of both Fernandinho’s aggressive mindset so admired by Guardiola, and also the confidence on the ball that is crucial to the City system.
Playing this year in France for AS Monaco, he is one of the brightest young stars that seems to come out of their youth system every year.
Monaco won the Ligue 1 title this year, over giants PSG, and even though their defence was at times questionable, they owed a lot of their stability to Fabinho. He would be another ideal signing for City this summer.
Also from AS Monaco, Bernardo Silva shined as a standout attacking distributor in their title-winning campaign. He had a particularly impressive showing against City, demonstrating his ability to shine against strong Premier League teams despite being a physically smaller player.
In both name and play style, he seems to be the perfect successor to David Silva, who has proven to be time and time again the key to the natural flow of City’s attack.
As this article is being written, City seem to be in the process of signing the Portuguese playmaker, for a rumored fee of around €50 million. Another hefty price tag, but it is becoming increasingly clear that such payments are necessary to secure the best and brightest players in the world nowadays.