INCOMING Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has reportedly told Etihad chiefs he needs a budget of £200million to turn them back into title contenders.
The Mirror claims the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss is hoping to bring in as many as eight new faces in what would be a massive clean-out of the squad that just hung on to fourth place last season under Manuel Pellegrini.
The Mirror reports: “It is believed that, among City’s current squad, only Sergio Aguero, Kevin De Bruyne and Fernandinho are seen as ideal starters by Guardiola.
“Skipper Vincent Kompany is a possible fourth, although the injury-prone Belgian’s fitness record means that central defence is a top priority for the incoming boss.”
That suggests a possible departure for the likes of England duo Joe Hart and Raheem Sterling, the latter only arriving from Liverpool last summer for an English transfer record of £49million.
Ilkay Gundogan is likely to be the first of the newcomers, with the Borussia Dortmund midfielder close to agreeing a £20m switch to City.
The Mirror also suggest Athletic Bilbao defender Aymeric Laporte and winger Leroy Sane of Schalke are on Guardiola’s wish-list, while a number of players already playing in the Premier League – including John Stones, Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Danny Rose – have also been linked with City.
Clearly, Guardiola feels the squad he will inherit didn’t just suffer a dip in form last season, he believes they don’t have the talent to take the next step.
But, as we’ve seen at other clubs in the past, mass wholesale changes aren’t always the answer as it obviously takes time for new players – particularly those from outside the Premier League – to settle and adapt to new surroundings.