With the CAS overturning Manchester City’s European ban, the club are now free to compete in the UEFA Champions League next season. This is extremely significant, as it will allow the club to keep the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling, while also allowing them to move ahead with a squad rebuild that is sorely needed. City would perhaps not have been able to attract their top targets if they would have been banned from the Champions League, and so this decision will have come as a huge relief to the club’s hierarchy.
While predicting transfers in the upcoming transfer window would be a task beyond even the most successful horse racing tipsters, let alone football fans, given the economic uncertainty that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has caused, there are five players who are reportedly on City’s shortlist. The club usually prepare a list of three players for each position that they are looking to get reinforcements in for, to allow them to move on to the next target if the first one cannot be brought in for some reason. City are extremely likely to sign a centre-back this summer, while the departure of Leroy Sane as well as David Silva will mean that they may look towards getting in an attacking midfielder as well.
In terms of centre-backs, these are some of the players that are reportedly under consideration –
This 23-year-old Spain international has been making waves for Villarreal this season, and will have a whole host of top clubs vying for his signature, with the likes of Chelsea and Barcelona interested as well. He has a £45million release clause, making him an extremely attractive option, but is left-footed, which may count against him given that City have Aymeric Laporte playing as the left-sided centre-back. Still, given that Nicolas Otamendi and John Stones are both likely to leave, the club needs to bring in numbers at the back.
The Dutch international could be available for fairly cheap if Bournemouth are relegated, and he is a good passer, along with his defensive attributes, making him a good fit for Pep Guardiola’s side.
Koulibaly is reportedly City’s top target, and it is no wonder why – the Senegal international ticks all the boxes. He is physically dominant, quick and good on the ball as well. Koulibaly is apparently a transfer target for Manchester United as well, and so this could be a long transfer saga in the upcoming window.
This 23-year-old Portugal international is another name under consideration, and he is both physically gifted enough to be able to cope with the English game, as well as good on the ball. However, his contract currently has a huge release clause of £89million, and Benfica are unlikely to drop their asking price by too much, given the fees that the likes of Virgil van Dijk and Harry Maguire have moved for over the last couple of years, and so he could end up being a very expensive purchase if City do decide to move for him.