Pep Guardiola is about to finish a season without a trophy for the first time in his managerial career.
It’s a sensation unknown to the Catalan, but one that he will be hoping he doesn’t have to get used to at Manchester City.
The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss has such a reputation in European football that City chiefs are expected to be uncharacteristically patient with him this summer.
Guardiola doesn’t seem to be under pressure from above. Instead, the board are willing to back him even further with another £250million, reports the Sun.
At any other club, that sort of money would overhaul the whole squad, yet it’s being set aside for three players in particular.
It’s claimed Tottenham’s Kyle Walker, Southampton’s Virgil Van Dijk, and Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez are the men being targeted, though his budget also extends to another left-back if he can tempt Luke Shaw or Benjamin Mendy.
Guardiola is clearly prioritising his defence, which has come under fire in his maiden season in English football.
Vincent Kompany is finally putting a run of games together, but Van Dijk could still serve as a long-term replacement. Walker is one of the most highly-rated right-backs in the Premier League, and Sanchez is expected to leave Arsenal with just a year left on his contract.
A spending spree of such proportions would leave very little room for failure next season, by which time Guardiola will have to start delivering.