Manchester City broke all odds in their march to win the Premier League title last season. Pep Guardiola once again proved that he is one of the best managers in the world. City amassed an all-time record of 100 points in the league, breaking numerous other records as well.
Guardiola will now be aiming to build a strong title defence with the squad. He will have one thing and only one thing on his mind – to become the first manager to win the title consecutively after Sir Alex Ferguson. That would really do one in Manchester United’s face, wouldn’t it?
Pep has already been scanning the market for a number of players. But there are reports suggesting that City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan could be interested in an exit. Pep’s former club Barcelona are reportedly keen to sign him this summer.
Considering the fact that Andres Iniesta has left the club, Gundogan could take up the Spanish legend’s role. Here, we take a look at three alternatives Manchester City could sign to replace the German.
The Napoli midfielder joined the club in 2014 and has gone on to become one their best players in the middle of the park. He made 33 appearances last season in the Serie A, scoring 2 goals and providing 4 assists. The Italian plays as a defensive midfielder and City could really use him if Gundogan decides to leave.
With the departure of Yaya Toure, City will surely be short of options. The 26-year-old has an immense passing ability, completing 84.9% of his passes last season. He also averaged 96.9 passes per game across that time. His qualities certainly fit City’s bill and he would be a great addition for the club.
Ander Herrera (Manchester United)
Yes, Manchester United. Granted, it would be controversial but the Spanish midfielder is a proven Premier League product. He has found first-team football hard to come by, and the prospect of working with Pep Guardiola could be an enticing one.
The midfielder has made a total of 110 appearances for the Red Devils, scoring 10 goals and providing 14 assists. He is an engine in the middle of the park, tirelessly working for the ball. The midfielder also has a good long-range shooting ability. He possesses all the qualities Guardiola looks for in his players. Herrera has not been selected for Spain’s squad this time, meaning the manager must make a move for him.
Mario Gotze (Borussia Dortmund)
The pair has worked together before, during Pep’s time in Bayern Munich. Gotze’s time with the German champions was blighted with persistent injury problems. Having returned to Dortmund, he hasn’t nailed down a spot at the club yet with the likes of Kagawa, Rode and Schurrle in the squad.
The German made just 19 appearances in the Bundesliga last season, scoring 2 goals and providing 3 assists. He is comfortable playing a wide number of roles in midfield. However, he shares a good relationship with Guardiola and a move to England could help reignite his career.