Pep Guardiola’s ruthless overhaul of the Manchester City squad could extend to even more fan favourites, after Joe Hart was let go last summer and Yaya Touré was exiled due to slanderous remarks by his agent.
Even three of the biggest names in recent history – Sergio Agüero, Vincent Kompany and David Silva – are not safe and must prove they can fully adapt to Guardiola’s physical and psychological demands, reports Simon Mullock of the Sunday Mirror.
Though the trio are not in any certain danger, it is reported that they must convince Pep that they can play the way he wants, which includes effective high-pressing. The Catalan coach is not afraid to make unpopular decisions, as he proved at former clubs and already at City with Joe Hart.
Even should those three club heroes survive, Mullock reports that as many as ten names will be axed next summer. Loan brigade, Joe Hart, Samir Nasri, Wilfried Bony and Eliaquim Mangala, will leave on permanent deals, while Willy Caballero and Jesús Navas are out of contract and will be released, with Navas possibly returning to Sevilla.
Pablo Zabaleta, Gaël Clichy and Yaya Touré are also out of contract and the three, who were key members of Roberto Mancini and Manuel Pellegrini’s title-winning squads, will not be offered new deals. And despite some good form this season, left-back Aleksandar Kolarov is said to have been deemed surplus to requirements.
Three of City’s four full-backs (the other, Bacary Sagna, is also out of contract next summer) are among the names listed as heading for the exit, with those areas expected to be where much of City’s attention will be next summer. 22-year-old Monaco right-back, Fabinho, has been linked with a move to the Etihad today – not for the first time.