Manchester City have won the League Cup this season and are one of the favourites to win the Champions League next month.
No one expected Manchester City to finish 18 points behind the champions. They put up one of the worst title defences in recent history in a season where they and Liverpool were the only legitimate contenders.
So, expect Manchester City to respond to this adversity and it will start with their statement in the transfer window.
With the albatross of a European ban off their shoulders, Manchester City are expected to spend big this summer.
Pep Guardiola will address the problems in central defence and left-back and will likely solve those issues in an expensive manner.
While his defensive signings in the last four years have been largely misses than hits, expect the club to back him again to expensively retool his backline.
What do Manchester City need in the summer?
Manchester City’s need this summer is what it was last time around – a centre-back. Pep Guardiola failed to replace the talismanic presence of Vincent Kompany in his team last season.
Aymeric Laporte is the only defender he seems to trust and the Spaniard doesn’t have enough confidence in other expensive centre-backs he has in his squad in Nicolas Otamendi and John Stones.
Guardiola wanted Harry Maguire but they were not willing to match Leicester City’s £80m valuation, which Manchester United did. The hole in his squad remains and the Manchester City manager wants a commanding presence in his backline.
Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly is believed to be Manchester City’s top target but the club are said to be unwilling to match his €75m valuation. Despite their massive transfer kitty, Manchester City remain desperate not to be seen as paying over the odds for any player.
They even backed out of a deal to sign Virgil van Dijk before he joined Liverpool and the Dutchman went on to become a transformative signing for Jurgen Klopp.
Kalidou Koulibaly will be the perfect replacement for Vincent Kompany, but it remains to be seen whether the club decide to adhere to Napoli’s demands.
Sevilla’s commanding centre-back, Diego Carlos and Villarreal’s Pau Torres are also on Manchester City’s shortlist of targets, and John Stones is likely to be sold to make way for a new central defender.
Regardless, expect an expensive defender to walk through the doors at the Etihad in the transfer window.
Benjamin Mendy has been a disappointment for Manchester City and the club want to move him on. Their left-back options are not up to the mark and expect the club to go big for a new full-back.
Leicester City’s Ben Chilwell is a target but his £90m valuation is likely to be a major obstacle.
Manchester City will also bring in a replacement for Leroy Sane, who joined Bayern Munich this summer. They seemed to have identified Valencia’s Ferran Torres as their man and talks are said to be progressing smoothly between the player’s representatives and the Premier League giants.
What about the future of Sergio Aguero?
Sergio Aguero is Manchester City’s all-time top goalscorer with 254 strikes in 370 appearances and will go down as a legend of the club for just this moment.
However, he is now 32 and in the final year of his contract. There are suggestions that Manchester City want to extend his current deal as the Argentine remains a potent goalscorer at this level with 23 goals in all competitions in the 2019-20 season.
However, Aguero has also stated that he wants to end his career in his homeland Argentine. A move back to Argentina is in his head but it remains to be seen whether he feels he is good enough to perform at the top level of European football for a few more years.
Manchester City want him to stay but the final call will be his.
Phil Foden to get a run of games or an expensive replacement for David Silva?
David Silva played his last league game for Manchester City on Sunday and will go down as one of the legends of the Premier League.
The 34-year-old, who was a major reason behind Manchester City’s success in the last decade, will still feature in the Champions League next month before his likely return to Spain.
Pep Guardiola has enough creative players in his squad but filling Silva’s boots is likely to be hard for anyone.
Phil Foden has often been termed the long term replacement for the Spaniard but so far, the Manchester City manager has resisted playing him regularly.
Will Foden get his chance to finally cement his place in the starting eleven next season as Silva’s replacement or whether Guardiola will like to spend big and bring in a marquee replacement?
Manchester City have the money to do the latter but it could lead to Phil Foden questioning his long term future at the Etihad.