“I have great confidence that we are going in the right direction. I am very excited about how we are developing as a team, how Pep has made the squad and that really began a process of going through the natural cycle of development.”
Khaldoon al Mubarak, Manchester City chairman, May 2017
In August, Pep Guardiola embarks on a definition of the second season as the coach of Manchester City. After finishing third in the Premier League and being eliminated from the Champions League at the last 16 stage that he can’t fail again.
Guardiola can read the previous comments and be sure Mubarak support, but he knows that patience will wear thin if the City are not contenders in both competitions, as effectively demanded by Mubarak in the same interview.
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The pressure is increased in the record of expenditure Guardiola is expected to monitor. In the summer of 2009, Real Madrid spent £ 218m, with Cristiano Ronaldo £85m the holder of the arrival to follow Kaka (£56m) and Karim Benzema (£31m).
Guardiola could spend that amount with a payout that can reach up to £220 m-plus, and he could spend a quarter of a billion dollars before the window closes on the 31st of August, especially if the confidence of the club during the signing of Alexis Sanchez proves well-founded.
There is, however, an obvious irony at work here. Guardiola is the attack-only the coach (to paraphrase him) whose hopes of success rest of the defense, which is the reason why he aims to sign three defenders. The left-back Gaël Clichy (31 years), and the right-back Pablo Zabaleta (32) and Bacary Sagna (34) have been allowed to leave. The critics might assert their departures come two years late, given his age and obvious decline, and Guardiola should have addressed the problem when it takes more than 12 months.
And that if the calamity of the exile of Joe Hart in favour of Claudio Bravo as a goalkeeper were the glaring errors of a first season in charge, Guardiola is determined to make amends.
The world record for a goalkeeper was about to be broken with the €40m(£34.69 m), which is paid to Benfica for Ederson. Now Guardiola’s focus is on the back. Brazil Dani Alves is expected to arrive on a free after his release from Juventus. Guardiola is also looking to the right, Kyle Walker from Tottenham, and Monaco left-back Benjamin Mendy.
Alves was bought by Guardiola with Barcelona in the summer of 2008. The 34-years of age, has vast experience and a winning mentality. He has won six League titles, three Champions Leagues, two Uefa Cups, five Copa del Reys, a Series of A title, a coppa Italia and a Copa America, in addition to 100 caps. In 27 Walker has gained a little, but it is the England of the right of the back and reaching its peak. Which would be expected to push Alves for a starting place.
Alves and Walker, offered the attacking potency Guardiola craves. Well, Mendy, of 23 years of age, who was part of the fine Monaco side that dumped City out of the Champions League in the month of March. If the France left-back signs would slot straight into the first team.
Dani Alves the experience and competitive spirit to make him a major goal for the team of Pep Guardiola. Photograph: NurPhoto/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Add this trio, and the City is transformed from a ragged squad of one with an excess of wealth, as opposed to the back.
At No9 the age of 20, Gabriel Jesus, a star on the rise, vying with Sergio Aguero. The attack of the supporting cast came from a clutch of the best players: Leroy Sané, Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva, Raheem Sterling, and Bernardo Silva. In the centre of midfielder Ilkay Gündogan, Yaya Toure and Fernandinho are a trio of high-class midfielders and stoppers.
Central defence is another area that requires strengthening. The city fell out of the bidding for Virgil van Dijk just when Southampton set of the 25 years of age, the price too high. The need of a central arises due to Nicolás Otamendi and Aleksandar Kolarov are questionable deputies. Guardiola has rejuvenated captain Vincent Kompany, plus the enormous potential of John Stones as first choice of the association.
Between today and September 1, Guardiola has a lot of surgery to perform. It is only two players in the reconstruction of elite and transfers that are not easy. However, your reputation, the more the City’s financial muscle is a combination many players will be hard to resist.
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The combination of £79m paid by Ederson and Silva is the opening out-of-pocket. The minimum of £45m each from Walker and Mendy would take the sum of £169m. If the set-up fee central has increased to around £55m (Stones, was a first £47.5 m), then Guardiola will have wasted £224m even before the cherry on the cake, in addition to Arsenal’s Sanchez (£50m) or Monaco Kylian Mbappé (100 million pounds–plus). Buy one of these and Guardiola would shatter the £250 mark.
The corollary to this is the increase of the expectation of all of this piles on the manager. He is conscious of having been granted a season of grace. Last season he reminded himself more than once that the axe is not far away. In mid-May of Guardiola was further admitted that in his previous clubs, Barcelona and Bayern Munich, would have been fired.
The truth is stark: a director who has won two european Cups, three League titles, two Copa del Reys, two German double and the Bundesliga has won zero for the City.
Guardiola is giving a strong endorsement on the part of Mubarak publicly and financially. I could not fail.