Manchester City and Pep Guardiola had another decent season where they won the Premier League, the UEFA Super Cup, and the FIFA Club World Cup.
It was not all perfect for the Citizens who won their first treble in the 2022-23 campaign.

With the season done and dusted now, attention will be shifted to the transfer market, where they can hope to do two or more deals to remain competitive and battle-ready for another challenging campaign on all fronts.

Although they failed in the FA Cup quest against Manchester United, Guardiola remains eager for more silverware next season, setting his sights on a second Champions League triumph with the Citizens. Alongside, Manchester City tickets are still selling fast ahead of their pre-season fixtures.


Guardiola is Set for Another Slight Rebuild

The Manchester City boss is always in the business of bringing new players in at the end of each transfer window to address a need in his squad. It looks very likely that he will have to go big in the market once more to freshen up the team ahead of what should be an interesting 2024-25 football campaign.

In recent years, City have boosted their transfer budget by raising millions from player sales, including over £100 million from academy departures. Excluding the £42 million from selling Cole Palmer, City has sold several young players for more than £10 million each, including Romeo Lavia, Shea Charles, Sam Edozie, Carlos Borges, and James Trafford.

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Manchester City has already secured several deals to sell academy players this summer, potentially adding £25 million to their budget before the transfer window opens. Tommy Doyle, currently on loan at Wolves, has completed a permanent move to Molineux for £4.5 million. Additionally, following Southampton’s promotion back to the Premier League, Taylor Harwood-Bellis is expected to join them for approximately £20 million.

Several first-team loanees might be sold permanently. Joao Cancelo, signed for around £60m in 2019, is in his second loan spell away from the Etihad with seemingly no path back to Manchester City. Barcelona wants to retain him next season but has admitted financial difficulties in securing his transfer, forcing City to decide between another loan or selling him elsewhere. Although a sale might not reach the initial £60m mark, it would still command a significant fee.

Similarly, Kalvin Phillips’ loan to West Ham hasn’t delivered the hoped-for impact, failing to change Guardiola’s view that the midfielder doesn’t fit into his system. Another loan or sale appears likely, although recouping the £42m spent on him will be challenging as his struggles continue. Leeds has emerged as a potential destination, but after they failed to seal promotion, that destination might be off the table.

All the deals mentioned above will help balance City books, which are expected to bring in at least a midfielder in the summer. 


Guardiola Unsure of Summer Plans


“Right now, I don’t know what’s going to happen,” Guardiola said after his side’s FA Cup loss to Manchester United. 

“I don’t know the players (who) are going to decide whether to continue with us or want to leave or not. Players come in, come out. Right now, I’m pleased with the team and how they behaved all season. I couldn’t say different.”


Guardiola declined to comment on whether the squad was ready for major changes following another record-breaking year.

“Next season is next season,” he said. “It’s far away. Right now, it’s difficult for me to process it even after winning the Premier League.

“It’s a question of calm, (being) relaxed. We will be back as best as possible and next season we’ll have to do this and that, step by step, we’ll see what happens.

“From my point of view, the season has been amazing. The journey was really good. Week in and week out, in a good mood and good vibes.

“The team has been extraordinary, the way we played in the Champions League, we didn’t lose one game. (Saturday) was maybe not maybe the (right) rhythm.”


Areas to be Strengthened by the Champions

Following the treble win in the previous campaign, City lost some players, and the new arrivals like Matheus Nunes, Matteo Kovacic, and Jeremy Doku have not filled in perfectly. Defender Josko Gvardiol has been the only one who has made an impact so far.

However, here’s how the Citizens can improve their squad when the transfer window opens.

A New Midfielder is Needed 

Manchester City have shown interest in West Ham’s Lucas Paqueta for about a year. However, the potential transfer seems to be off the table now that Paqueta has been charged with alleged betting rule violations.

With Kalvin Phillips likely to leave and playmaker Kevin De Bruyne potentially moving to MLS or Saudi Arabia, Guardiola will be eager to strengthen the midfield depth. 

Defensive midfielder Rodri has played a lot of games over the past three seasons, and there is no clear replacement for him at the moment. There have also been rumors surrounding the future of versatile Bernardo Silva.

Nottingham Forest’s Morgan Gibbs-White is a good Paqueta alternative. Gibbs-White offers a more offensive option, having created 74 chances and 16 big chances in the Premier League. He will probably come at a cheaper fee compared to Florian Wirtz – who had a breakthrough season with Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga – who has been linked with a move to the Etihad.

While there are sufficient options in the attacking third to help the side, they are quite limited in the defensive role, and that should be Guardiola’s main target in the summer. 

Goalkeeper Replacement?

Manchester City’s goalkeeping squad boasts exceptional talent, but they might need to sell one of them.

This summer might see Ederson, one of the key players in Pep Guardiola’s highly successful team, depart. There’s concern among senior figures that City’s primary goalkeeper is looking to explore new opportunities after a seven-year stint with the club. The Saudi Pro League appears to be the most probable destination due to its financial appeal.

Meanwhile, Stefan Ortega, who has impressed when called up, could take up the number shirt. City have already offered Ortega a new deal, but the 31-year-old German wants assurances of improved playing time before he commits his future to the Blues.

In either case, acquiring a goalkeeper is imperative, and it seems that Michele Di Gregorio from Monza stands out as the top choice. This season, the 26-year-old goalkeeper has outshined his peers in Serie A by preventing the highest number of goals (12.29). Additionally, his exceptional completion rate for long passes (243) deserves recognition as well.


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