5 Players Manchester City could sign ahead of the 2023-24 Premier League Season
After ending a historic season in the best of fashion by winning a treble of trophies, Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City will already have one eye on the upcoming campaign. The season will forever be cherished by City fans around the world, as the Sky Blues landed their first-ever UEFA Champions League title and played some delightful football along the way.
Still, the incredible success will soon be in the backdrop of multiple senior stars considering their exits. The likes of Ilkay Gundogan and Kyle Walker have achieved everything there was to achieve with the team. While Guardiola will be keen to find replacements, there is plenty of reason for optimism.
Despite City expecting rivals such as Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal, and Chelsea to all invest in varying degrees, they have a squad brimming with talent. A combination of youth, ability, and experience means that the Sky Blues do not need a lot of signings to continue competing for the biggest trophies in the years to come.
However, that will no longer be true if several other key players end up leaving. Apart from Gundogan and Walker, the likes of Joao Cancelo, Riyad Mahrez, Aymeric Laporte, and Kalvin Phillips have all been linked with exits. Bernardo Silva again looks close to an exit, with PSG being the favored destination as of now.
This will open up numerous vacancies that will be filled both from within, and outside. Here, we look at 5 players who Manchester City can sign in the current summer transfer window.
#4 Josko Gvardiol
Despite City being well-stocked in the heart of defense even after the departure of Laporte, Gvardiol is a player who appears to have caught Pep Guardiola’s eye.
The 21-year-old is the biggest star to emerge out of Morocco’s run to the third place-playoff match at the Qatar World Cup. He has consistently impressed for his club RB Leipzig and will reportedly cost a fortune.
A left-footed central defender, Gvardiol is a technically gifted footballer with incredible passing range and the physical presence to match. Gvardiol will be an upgrade on the likes of Stones and Akanji in the position and can be the ideal partner for Ruben Dias for the seasons to come.
#4 Jeremie Frimpong
There are numerous reasons to think why a move for former player Jeremie Frimpong does not make sense. Guardiola has recently opted for inverted full-backs, and Frimpong is the opposite. He has evolved into one of the best young right-backs in the world since leaving for Celtic in 2019.
The 21-year-old had 8 goals and 7 assists in the Bundesliga last season and has consistently been linked to Manchester United. However, with Cancelo and Walker expected to depart, Guardiola will only have the likes of Rico Lewis and John Stones at right-back.
A transitional period might also demand a switch to a more expansive, attacking right-back role, something Frimpong is ideal for. While City is not said to be close, a move for their former youngster makes perfect sense on paper.
#3 Frenkie de Jong
There are multiple reasons why a move for Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong makes perfect sense for Manchester City. The estimated £90 million swoop will represent a huge upgrade in the middle of the park for Pep Guardiola, and open doors to some tantalizing midfield combinations.
The potential loss of Bernardo Silva and Gundogan’s move means that de Jong will slot in straight into the starting lineup at the Etihad. The Dutch midfielder is a top-class ball progresser, a highly talented passer, and can be the perfect Pep Guardiola signing.
What’s more, Manchester City have only recently lost out on the marquee signing of Declan Rice. De Jong will arguably represent an even bigger coup for the club. Finally, the fact that Erik ten Hag has been desperately looking to sign Frenkie gives further impetus to Guardiola to explore the possibility.
#2 Romeo Lavia
Rather than immediate improvement, it is a matter of opportune convenience that City has continuously been linked to a transfer for the 19-year-old midfielder. Lavia made his debut for Manchester City at the age of 17 under Guardiola.
He was relegated with Southampton last season but was impressive throughout. City inserted a clause for Lavia for a fee of £40 million that is only valid until 2024, if Lavia stays at Southampton.
Currently, the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea, and Manchester United are said to be in the running for Lavia. With Kalvin Phillips expected to leave, the 19-year-old Belgian can be the ideal replacement. Whether Guardiola decides he is worth moving for alongside his other midfield acquisitions remains to be seen.
#1 Federico Chiesa
One player who has quietly found his way to the transfer list at Juventus is the Italian Federico Chiesa. Expected to be a star until a severe cruciate ligament injury last year, the Old Lady is looking to move on the winger for about €60 million.
Chiesa was far from his best in the 2022-23 season and finished with 2 goals and 5 assists in 21 appearances. That is not the worst output, which might as well lead to Guardiola taking a punt on a player he has been linked with in the past.
If he returns to his best, Chiesa is a potential starter who can play on either wing. If he does not, he can still provide ideal cover for a position that Manchester City might find themselves thin in, for the coming season.
The Italian looks in dire need of a move away and City has both the resources and the space to provide it. With the likes of Bernardo Silva and Riyad Mahrez in contention to leave, there is a good chance that a move for Federico Chiesa turns out great for both parties involved.