Manchester City Transfer News: Citizens targeting between four and six signings in 2020
Manchester City are looking to add between four to six new players in 2020, the Telegraph reports. The actual number will, of course, depend on the number of potential departures, as the Citizens look to continue their dominance in English football. The Premier League crown is looking increasingly out of reach now, but that has not stopped the reigning champions from planning for the future. Manchester City have edged closer to the League Cup final after defeating Manchester United 3-1 in the first leg of the semi-final.
Pep Guardiola is prioritizing defensive reinforcements, with City still paying for not replacing Vincent Kompany last summer. The Spaniard expected his defense to be strong enough to mount another title challenge, but a long-term injury to Aymeric Laporte jeopardized all his plans. The Frenchman is nearing a return, but his absence has highlighted City’s lack of options at the back, even though Fernandinho has covered amicably in the heart of the defence.
City looking at centre-backs, left-backs, midfielders, and attackers
Guardiola has reiterated his stance that Manchester City will not invest in the winter transfer window, a decision that could be influenced by the fact that the club already have 17 non-home grown players in the first-team squad, which is the maximum limit. However, the club continues to monitor centre-backs, and might even have to target two players in case Nicolas Otamendi, who turns 32 in February, decides to leave next summer.
Villarreal’s Pau Torres and Benfica’s Ruben Dias are both 22 years old and among the best young defenders in Europe right now. Quite expectedly, both have made it into City’s radar. The Citizens do have 19-year-old defender Eric Garcia in their ranks; he is assured with the ball at his feet, but there’s a feeling that he might not be suited for the rigors and pace of the Premier League.
The left-back position has also been problematic for Guardiola this season, as none of Oleksandr Zinchenko, Angelino and Benjamin Mendy have been able to stake a permanent claim for the role. Guardiola considers Leicester City’s Ben Chilwell as an able replacement but knows that he would cost a fortune and even then, negotiations with the Foxes would not be easy.
Leroy Sane’s future also hangs in the balance, but if the German winger does move to Bayern Munich, City will be looking to replace him with Mikel Oyarzaba of Real Sociedad. Phil Foden was touted as the ideal replacement for the outgoing David Silva, but City are looking to put him in a more forward role and as such, the club have zeroed in on Atletico Madrid’s Saul Niguez as Silva’s replacement.
Another player whose future could come into question in the summer is Gabriel Jesus. The Brazilian is yet to prove to the club that he is a worthy successor to Sergio Aguero, prompting City to look at forwards as well. In the midst of all these, the manager’s future has also come under the scanner.
Mauricio Pochettino, the former Tottenham Hotspur manager, is said to be the potential replacement for Guardiola, but the Spaniard has no doubts that he will remain at the Etihad beyond the summer.
Modified 09 Jan 2020, 13:30 IST