There can be no doubt that Manchester City is one of the best run football clubs in the world, from the tactical awareness and consistency of manager Pep Guardiola to the club’s ability to identify and recruit the top players in Europe.
The signing of coveted Erling Haaland (who cost an initial £51 million from Borussia Dortmund), is the latest example of City smooth and successful recruitment, while the club now has such an exceptional squad that it’s able to make incremental additions each and every summer.
But who are the next superstar players that could be targeted by City? Here are some players to keep in mind:
#1. Khvicha Kvaratskhelia (Napoli)
While Georgian wide forward Khvicha Kvaratskhelia only joined Napoli from Dinamo Batumi in July, he has set Serie A and the Champions League alight with a series of explosive and skilful performances.
He was instrumental in the recent 4-1 UCL thrashing of Liverpool, for example, while he has so far scored five Serie A goals in 10 appearances (from 12 shots on target) and delivered three assists to his teammates.
He has also scored twice in four Champions League appearances, with the 21-year-old regularly putting opponents to the sword with his direct running and exceptional dribbling skills.
Remember, City also have a penchant for mercurial Georgian attackers, with club legend Georgi Kinkladze have become a cult figure having starred for City during a rollercoaster period in the 1990s.
#2. Rafael Leao (AC Milan)
Despite the exceptional form of Arsenal of late, City remain odds-on favourites to win a fifth title in six years in 2022/23.
If you want to wager on this outcome, we’ve included the relevant Linebet registration information here, with a City title win increasingly likely given the quality of Guardiola’s squad.
If City do look to add an additional forward in the summer, however, AC Milan’s Portuguese winger Rafael Leao may come under serious consideration. Certainly, the fleet-of-foot forward has been in stellar form for the Serie A champions this season, scoring four goals and registering an impressive eight assists in just 13 league appearances.
Crucially, his current deal in Milan is also set to expire in 2024, and while negotiations continue, City, Chelsea and Manchester United are just three of several clubs offering a viable alternative to the player and his agent.
#3. Kylian Mbappe
This is a little out of leftfield given City’s usual transfer policy, which often eschews highly priced, established stars in favour of players who can be developed under Guardiola’s tutelage.
This isn’t always the case, however, as showcased by the recent signing of Haaland and the previous, £100 million acquisition of the mercurial Jack Grealish.
With this in mind, could City potentially bid for PSG superstar Kylian Mbappe in the next year? Certainly, the 23-year-old forward appears unhappy in the French capital, despite signing a bumper new contract as recently as the summer.
He would also be tempted by a move to City, who are one of the few clubs who could potentially afford the striker and deliver on a promise of domestic and continental success. This will definitely be an interesting space to watch, while the prospect of Mbappe and Haaland appearing in the same team is positively mouth-watering!