After winning the year’s Premier League season, Manchester City will surely be looking to continue the momentum Pep Guardiola has brought in the new campaign. And even though they have a strong squad as it is, some new reinforcements are always welcome in the race to win the Premier League and the elusive Champions League trophy.
The Plan to Strengthen the Midfield
City fans surely remember the two legs in the UEFA Champions League semi-final against Liverpool when they were eliminated 5–1 onn aggregate. A 3–0 defeat away followed by another 2-1 loss at home, meant the end of the European campaign for City. Some said that the 3–0 defeat was a gamble for Guardiola and that it’s better for him to keep his gambling for Aristocrat pokies, not for the field.
With all that in mind, you’d think that City is looking for some high-quality defensive players. But Guardiola knows that in order to build a strong defensive structure you need to start with the midfielders. And that’s why, one of the biggest names rumored to reach Manchester City this summer is Miralem Pjanic.
It seems that the Bosnian player isn’t so thrilled about the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo at Juventus and is looking for a new team for the next season. Even though it was also rumored that Lionel Messi recommended Pjanic for Barcelona in the following season, City still believes they can sign him since he will be sure of his starting 11 spot at Manchester. Which can’t really be said about a possible move to Barcelona. Even so, the transfer might be not so straight forward for Manchester City with Juventus asking around €80million for their midfielder, an amount considered a bit too steep by City’s bosses.
City to go after Kovacic?
Another rumor that made its way in the media in recent days is that Manchester City could be targeting Real Madrid’s current attacking midfielder, Mateo Kovacic. It’s no secret that Kovcic wants to move from Real and find a team where he will play constantly, however, a transfer to City might still be problematic due to the price Real Madrid has set for their player. It is believed in some quarters that they want around €80million, which would make Kovacic as expensive as Pjanic.
Signing Kovacic would make more sense for Guardiola since he is a younger player that can excellently take care of the defensive part in the middle of the field and, at the same time, can bring the much-needed speed and break the rhythm for the attack. It wouldn’t really be a problem for City to pay for both Pjanic and Kovacic and resolve the midfield problem for good, however, it might be tough for the two new players to fit in alongside Kevin De Bruyne and Gundogan.
Since Pep Guardiola is always concerned about team cohesion and unity, he will have to give this one a good thought even if he gets the money to buy the new players.
Busy with the International Champions Cup
Until all the transfer rumors will be confirmed or totally dismissed by Manchester City officials, the team will be busy with their US Tour, as they call it. The International Champions Cup tournament is in progress and City is one of the six football teams England sends there. They are facing Borussia Dortmund, Liverpool and Bayern Munich in a series of friendly matches to further prepare them for the new season.
Even though the matches are deemed to be friendlies, it’s granted that Manchester City will be looking for revenge against Liverpool after their double defeat in the Semi-Finals of the UEFA Champions League last year.