TIME FOR A PEP TALK
Will stay and who will arrive, who GED BARNES on over... City career is Guardi- whose Mancheser
What will Guardiola do at City?
WHEN Manchester City announced earlier this season that Pep Guardiola would be the man in charge for the 2016/17 campaign, it was greeted by joyous outbursts from the blue half of town.
The step up in class was evident, and there seemed to be little sympathy for current manager Manuel Pellegrini, who the fans had been shouting for towards the conclusion of Roberto Mancini’s reign just a few seasons before.
Pellegrini has won the Premier League and two League Cups with his ‘death by beautiful geometery’ style of play, and while City have a fight on their hands to bag a top four spot in the Premier League this season, they are still very much in the running for the Champions League.
Yet Guardiola will be looking to shake up a City squad that has undoubtedly faltered this season. David Silva wil stay, and will offer Guardiola more of a ‘Barcelona option’ than the out-and-out pace of Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery at his current club, Bayern Munich.
The jury is still out on Yaya Toure and, while there was never a publicised fall-out between the Ivorian and Guardiola, City’s incoming manager did sell Toure to City for £24m in 2010, preferring Sergio Busquets in Barcelona’s midfield.
Toure still possesses the ability to be a matchwinner, as shown in the Champions League last 16 away leg against Dynamo Kiev this season.
It remains to be seen whether Guardiola will choose to dismiss him, or include him in his new City line-up.
Here, I’ve come up with the players I think will leave, the ones who will stay and the ones who will be jetted in to aid Guardiola with his Manchester City revival project.
MARTIN DEMICHELIS: Is anyone taking bets on Demichelis remaining at the the Etihad next season, well, other than the man himself?
Signed for £4.2m in 2013, Demichelis started badly before slowly settling in to his role as a squad player.
The Argentine has shown glimpses of the player he used to be, but unfortunately shows too many glimpses of the player he is now and, at 35, will surely be on his way out in the summer.
His full head of healthy hair would only anger Guardiola anyway. FERNANDO: Like the ABBA song of the same name, the Brazilian has been completely uninspired since his £12m move from Porto in 2014. Brought in to control the midfield, Fernando simply lacks the quality to perform at the highest level. It looks very unlikely that he will stay in the Premier League next year. JESUS NAVAS: City fans have missed a trick by not creating a banner that reads: ‘JESUS SAVES....BUT IS RUBBISH ON THE WING’. Navas actually impressed during the 2013/14 campaign, but since then his form has nosedived at an alarming rate. His £15m fee seemed like very smart business at the time, but will Guardiola choose to keep a winger who is now the wrong side of 30? Arguably, it hasn’t done Arjen Robben any harm, but it’s looking increasingly likely that Navas will be moved on this summer.
Heroic in Wales, but a failure in Manchester, one might say Bony is the antithesis of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, especially as Solskjaer knew where the net was.
Bought for £25m(!), Bony became the most expensive African footballer, taking the title from Manchester City legend Emmanuel Adebayor.
May be given a chance under Guardiola after scoring 20 goals in 2014, but seems likely he will be shown the door. Whether he can find it is another matter entirely...
Signed in 2010 by Roberto Mancini, Kolarov has been a consistent performer on the left of City’s defence when needed.
Great at set-pieces, not so great at defending, Kolarov could make way for one of Pep’s new signings...
DAVID ALABA: The Austrian international has been heavily linked to a move from current club Bayern Munich.
At just 23, he has some of his best years ahead of him, and already enjoys his football under Guardiola.
Alaba would strengthen the left-back position considerably, especially if Kolarov departs this summer. AYMERIC LAPORTE: One of the many promising French players currently being tipped for great things, Laporte represents Athletic Bilbao in La Liga.
Reportedly scouted by many of Europe’s ‘big clubs’, Laporte excels at centre-back.
With Vincent Kompany’s recent battles with injury, and Demichelis seemingly on his way, the French international would add some much-needed quality to City’s defence. ILKAY GUNDOGAN: Gundogan’s is a name that frequently appears in football gossip columns, although there could be some wheels to this one.
Guardiola is familiar with the German international – after seeing Gundogan first hand playing for Borussia Dortmund – and would love to add some fresh impetus to City’s struggling midfield. ALEX OXLADE-CHAMBERLAIN: OK, so this one is a long shot, but stranger things have happened – Julien Faubert to Real Madrid anyone?
It’s not quite happened for ‘The Ox’ at Arsenal and he may not even make the squad for Euro 2016 this summer. Oxlade-Chamberlain would add to the quota of English players at City, and has the pace, skill and tenacity that Guardiola loves to see in his teams. Certainly one to keep an eye on.
OLA GUARDI DOWN TURNED E TO CHANC THE CITY IN PLAY FOR UNDER 2005, STUART ER MANAG ! PEARCE