5 Players Manchester City should sell ahead of the 2023-24 Premier League Season
Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City are on the cusp of becoming only the second English team to win the treble after Manchester United did it famously when they defeated Bayern Munich in added back in 1999.
In less than a week’s time, the Sky Blues will lock horns with Inter to get their hands on the trophy the club has craved the most ever since they were taken over by Sheikh Mansour.
For the fans of the Etihad-based outfit, exciting times lie ahead as they are only likely to get better in the near future, but that being said, there could be some players who may be sacrificed along the way. If there’s one thing that’s certain about Guardiola, for all the love he shows his to players, he doesn’t stand in their way whenever a player wishes to leave the club.
The departures of Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling prove the point, and neither player has been able to hit their peak with Bayern and Chelsea since leaving Manchester for pastures anew.
In recent weeks, both Ilkay Gundogan and Bernardo Silva have been linked to Barcelona, even though the Catalans have publicly stated that their immediate focus is on Lionel Messi.
Here are five players who could leave Man City in the upcoming summer transfer window:
#5 Joao Cancelo
Once a key member of the Cityzens, able to fill in at right-back and left-back, Joao Cancelo has been rumoured to have fallen out with Guardiola and he was subsequently shipped off to Bayern. The Bavarians have decided not to take up their optional clause to sign the Portuguese full-back for a reported £62 million.
Having joined the Etihad back in 2019, Cancelo’s days seem numbered with Chelsea, Real Madrid, and Arsenal all reported to be monitoring his next move. The 29-year-old is in line for one last big paycheck.
The former Juventus defender has made a total of 47 appearances across all competitions, contributing 3 goals and as many as 11 assists, making him just the perfect pick for a side looking to add an adventurous full-back.
#4 Nathan Ake
Having grown into his role as a left-sided central defender and a left-back more recently, Nathan Ake has become the latest ‘Mr reliable’ for Guardiola. Although, City is known to be one of the front-runners for RB Leipzig’s Josko Gvardiol and if they are successful in their pursuit, the Dutchman’s place in the team could fall into jeopardy.
Even though Ake brings versatility he’s not guaranteed to be a certain starter week in, week out. The Premier League’s newly crowned champs already have the likes of Ruben Dias, John Stones, and Aymeric Laporte, add to the fray the likes of Manuel Akanji and Sergio Gomez, and there’s a lot of competition for places in the playing XI.
Chelsea had been previously linked with a reunion for their academy product and he might be available should the Blues miss out on Gvardiol themselves. The 28-year-old has racked up 40 appearances across all competitions this term with three goals to his name.
#3 Aymeric Laporte
Aymeric Laporte finds himself on the same ship as Ake with intense competition for places he’s been relegated to a rotation player having started just six games in the Premier League this season. A Spain international, having represented France at age levels, Laporte won’t have any shortage of suitors should he decide to look for a new adventure.
The central defender has essentially fallen down to fifth choice with Dias and Stones the first choice pairing while Akanji and Ake have also chipped in seamlessly when needed. The 29-year-old might be sacrificed to bring in some extra cash and make room for Gvardiol’s signing.
Both Madrid and Barcelona have been credited with interest to acquire Laporte’s signature previously. In a campaign marred by injuries, the Spaniard has only made 24 appearances across all competitions having contributed a solitary assist.
#2 Bernardo Silva
Even though Silva has been putting in some memorable performances ever since he joined City back in 2017, more recently his future has been a major talking point. The Portuguese scored twice against Madrid in the UEFA Champions League semifinal second leg, putting the defending champions to the sword.
Last summer as well Silva was reportedly on the market but nothing materialised and after being quizzed about his future following the 4-0 win over Madrid, the midfielder said that he will talk about it after the end of the season.
The former Monaco man has a contract which runs out in 2025 and the 28-year-old has played 54 games this term across all competitions racking up a tally of 7 goals and 8 assists. Silva has been a key figure under Guardiola but so were Sane and Sterling although the Spanish coach didn’t stand in their way.
#1 Riyad Mahrez
Once a guaranteed starter on the right flank, Riyad Mahrez has gone from being indispensable to a squad player this season, partly due to his own form and partly due to Guardiola’s use of Silva as an inverted winger on the right.
The former Leicester City winger has a wand of a left foot but his coach’s decision to play two number 10s in Kevin de Bruyne and Gundogan came at the expense of the Algerian. Nonetheless, Mahrez has been clinical as always, he has 15 goals and 13 assists in 47 games this season.
The 32-year-old is entering the final years of his contract which runs out in 2025, and the old warhorse is not getting any younger so City might be able to get a good price for him this summer if they decide to add more depth on the flanks.
Mahrez’s future might also depend on whether the Premier League giants are able to find a suitor for Silva, which would then open the place for the veteran winger although it’s very much possible that he ends up leaving and the Portuguese decides to stay put.