Having missed out on clinching a major trophy this season, Manchester City are looking to reinforce their squad throughout the summer, with a number of world-class players currently being linked with a move to the Etihad.
Manuel Pellegrini’s men finished eight points behind champions Chelsea, and yet again failed to proceed beyond the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals, having fallen to a condemning 3-1 aggregate defeat to Barcelona. This has led to calls from the club’s hierarchy and supporters for an update of the ageing squad if they are to regain the Premier League title and progress to the later stages of the Champions League for the first time in their history in the near future.
However, with the FA demanding that all top flight clubs must have at least eight homegrown players in their 25-man squads, Manuel Pellegrini is focused on bringing in more English talent in order to correct the imbalance likely to be caused by the imminent departures of the likes of Frank Lampard and James Milner.
Below are four English players who have been heavily linked with the club and could be part of the Manchester City squad overhaul this summer:
The young Englishman is considered among the most promising midfielders in his age bracket and has been on Manchester City’s radar for the last two seasons. Although, the 20-year-old signed a new contract in 2014 which tied him to the club until the summer of 2018, so it could cost a small fortune to land the England international. Although, City are apparently set to table a big money bid that Everton will find difficult to turn down.
It is uncertain whether Barkley would be able to secure regular first-team football at the Etihad next season, with a number of top players vying for a place in the side, but should midfield-enforcer Yaya Toure depart, Barkley would be a fantastic replacement.
The 19-year old Aston Villa starlet has been instrumental as Tim Sherwood’s side charged to the FA Cup final and secured safety in the Premier League, which has unsurprisingly turned heads at the Etihad. Other top flight clubs, such as Chelsea and Tottenham, have been keeping tabs on the player as well, but City are most likely to secure his signature.
Aston Villa are reluctant to let the midfielder walk away from Villa Park this summer and will do everything in their power to keep him on the books, but should City come knocking, it would be a hard move for the youngster to turn down.
The Liverpool star has attracted interest from a number of big clubs in Europe’s biggest leagues, including Arsenal, Bayern Munich and Manchester City, though the Merseyside club aren’t ready to part ways with the Englishman just yet. Liverpool have offered the winger another long-term contract, but talks between the two parties stalled when the player’s agent revealed that his client would not sign a new deal with the club even if they offered him £900,000-a-week.
While Liverpool are fully capable of stopping the 20-year-old from departing the club, as he still has another 2 years on his current deal, they may opt to change their stance on the situation in order to maximize the transfer fee that they will receive.
The presence of Alexandre Kolarov and Gael Clichy seems unlikely to stop Manchester City pursuing another left-back, as reports suggest that the club is ready to make a £12 million bid for Tottenham defender Danny Rose. The Spurs star, whose good form this season recently earned him a call-up to Roy Hodgson’s England team, is ready to make the step up to a club challenging for the Premier League title in order to impress Hodgson and win himself a permanent place in his side.
However, Manchester City may face a transfer battle with Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea, who are looking to replace Filipe Luis, as he appears set for a return to Atletico Madrid this summer after just one season with the Blues. Although, he would likely play second fiddle to Cesar Azpilicueta in Mourinho’s side, and if City are able to guarantee Rose first-team football then a switch to the Etihad would appear to be the more attractive option.