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Pep Guardiola wanted ten new players at Manchester City last summer

Pep Guardiola Manchester City.jpg
Pep Guardiola planning an overhaul at Manchester City
Chris David
Modified 17 Nov 2016, 10:19 IST

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola was targeting in completing 10 new signings in the last summer transfer window, according to biographer Marti Perarnau, who worked with the Spanish manager on his book titled Pep Guardiola: The Evolution. The Catalonian agreed to join the Etihad outfit after his contract at Bayern Munich expired at the end of the 2015-16 season. In his first transfer window, the new City manager completed eight signings.

The list includes the likes of Claudio Bravo, Ilkay Gundogan, Aaron Mooy, Marlos Moreno, Nolito, Leroy Sane, Oleksandr Zinchenko, John Stones and Alexander Zinchenko. In addition to this, City have agreed to a deal for Brazil international Gabriel Jesus, who will join them in January 2017.

However, Guardiola has failed to find a central defensive partner for Stones, who arrived at the Etihad from Everton. The Spanish manager also failed to replace his full-backs, especially that all four of the full-backs are above the age of 30.

City made it to the semi-final of the Champions League last season, where they lost to eventual winners Real Madrid after settling for a goalless draw at home. The second leg in Madrid saw the La Liga giants seal a 1-0 win.

The Premier League side were not up to the mark against Real and Perarnau claims that convinced City's board that there was a need for a complete overhaul of the squad.

“Their total lack of any sense of team spirit was plain for all to see. It was a match that convinced City’s board that a complete change of direction was required," Perarnau explains.

“And Guardiola was in full agreement: it wasn't about a few changes here and there, what the team needed was a complete overhaul.

“In a meeting in Dubai at the start of June he came to an agreement with the club management that around 10 new players would be needed.

“At the same meeting in Dubai, the coach also took the time to agree the playing model he would use and told the sports director and the president the kind of players he’d need, dividing his list into three separate categories: the defensive spine of the team, new strikers, the full backs.”


Guardiola was targeting Arsenal defender Hector Bellerin as a long-term replacement for Bacary Sagna and Pablo Zabaleta. In addition to this, he was also looking at the option of signing a left-back, who can take place of Gael Clichy and Aleksandar Kolarov, with the latter also featuring next to Stones in the heart of the back four.

City manager will be disappointed in not getting all his targets and can this be used as an excuse if he fails to deliver any silverware this season. 

More Football news, transfer rumours, analysis, and features at

Published 17 Nov 2016, 09:51 IST
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