The end of the summer transfer window is near – almost two weeks left to be exact. It’s been a summer of many new signings for City, highlighted by the likes of John Stones, Nolito, and İlkay Gündoğan. There’s a saying that preaches the idea of “Out with the old and in with the new.” Well, the new is in. Now it’s time for Pep to ship out the old. The question City fans are anxiously awaiting the answer to, though, is which of the old guard won’t be donning the sky blue shirt come 1st September.
Here is a look at the players who could possibly be on the move before the end of the month.
The young Belgian defender has spent the past two seasons on loan at Celtic and Galatasaray, respectively, performing well for both clubs. However, the academy product has yet to break into the City XI, and that doesn’t look to change any time soon. The signing of Stones, included with Denayer’s exclusion from the squad list for the Champions League tie with Steaua Bucharest, could mean that Pep doesn’t see Denayer as part of his plans for this season.
Verdict: It looks like another season-long loan for him, most likely back to the Turkish giants, possibly with an option to buy at the end of the season.
The Serbian has been a defensive stalwart for City since joining the club in 2010. However, his defensive ineptitudes have seemingly caught to him, and that clearly showed in his displays last season. It looked quite likely that Kolarov would be shipped off earlier in the summer, with Besiktas calling and young Angeliño next in line. But apparently Pep sees something else in Kolarov, starting him at centre back for the match against Sunderland.
Verdict: Pep seems to like Kolarov’s ball-playing abilities, and perhaps he could be the player Guardiola molds into a new role/position.
The man who was seen to be the perfect partner to Vincent Kompany hasn’t had the best of times in Manchester. The Frenchman has found it difficult to cope with the physicality and pace of the Premier League, and his inability to comfortably and confidently play the ball out of the back won’t work in Guardiola’s system. The signing of Stones seemingly signaled the end of Mangala’s time at City, and that idea has been reinforced by Pep’s decision to drop the defender from the Sunderland match and exclude him from the 21-man squad heading to Romania.
Verdict: If reports are to be believed, Mangala could be making his way back to the club from which City bought him: FC Porto. Thanks for the memories, Elia. Too bad you won’t be around to put Zlatan back in your pocket again.
The other City Frenchman who has been dropped from Pep’s squad for the first two matches of the season looks to be in trouble. Nasri, who normally plays on either the left or right wing, has fallen to the bottom of the pecking order after the arrivals of Leroy Sané, Nolito, and Oleksandr Zinchenko. Nasri has enjoyed his fair share of ups and downs at City, but perhaps his time in a City kit is finally up.
Verdict: Several Serie A teams, most notably Roma and Inter Milan, are lurking over Nasri’s situation. The lad might want to start brushing up on his Italian since he won’t be seeing the pitch any time soon.
The speedy Spandiard was one of Manuel Pellegrini’s favourite players. Navas always puts in a shift, but he truly lacks the ability to provide a pinpoint cross, and don’t bet on him finding the back of the net (he’s only scored four goals in 100 appearances for the club). However, Navas is ideal for Pep’s high pressing system, and he’ll add depth to the City bench, even if he won’t play as many minutes as he did under the former City boss.
Verdict: Navas isn’t going anywhere…this transfer window. With Gabriel Jesus officially arriving to the squad in January, the other Jesús could be shipped back to his former club, Sevilla FC, in order to make space for the younger and more dangerous Brazilian.
One of my personal favourites since Roberto Mancini brought him in from Barcelona, Yaya has been the backbone of the City midfield during his time in Manchester. However, the once-marauding, unstoppable tank that once dominated the Premier League seems well past it. He’s sluggish and often seems disinterested in the matches he appears in. Pep has left Touré out of the squad for the first two matches of the season, making it clear that he won’t be a part of Guardiola’s plans for this campaign. Pep has sold Yaya once, and he certainly wouldn’t be afraid to do it again. At 33 years of age, Touré is tied with Bacary Sagna for oldest outfield player in the squad, and his best years are certainly behind him.
Verdict: Yaya’s wages make it difficult for any team to sign him. The likeliest landing spots for the Ivory Coast legend are either China or the MLS, but PSG have the funds if they wanted to add him to their midfield. However, it’s probable that he’ll see out his contract with the club and leave on a free transfer next summer as no club wants to pay Touré’s wage demands for a player of his age.
Fellow Ivory Coast native Bony has had a tough time adjusting to life at a top-of-the-table club like City. The success Bony had at Swansea has not translated to life in a sky blue shirt. The rise of Kelechi Iheanacho has pushed the former £28 million man to the bottom of the pecking order, and Pep doesn’t seem to have any desire to use Bony in his system. The Bony project has been an utter failure, and it’s time for City to cut their losses and sell Bony to the highest bidder.
Verdict: Reports have swirled around all summer about Bony leaving the club. Where he’ll end up has varied. Bony will most likely remain in the Premier League, as he still has a good goal-scoring record in the league. A return to Wales and Swansea could be on the cards, but Everton have been strongly linked to the striker.
It pains me to add Joe Hart to this list of possible transfers. The City number one of the last six years could be shown the door soon, if reports are to be believed. Hart was dropped by Pep for the opening match against Sunderland, and the former Bayern Munich manager doesn’t seem to have faith that Hart is the right keeper for his system. Claudio Bravo seems to be his likeliest replacement.
Verdict: Sadly, England’s number one’s time in Manchester appears to be coming to an end. Where he ends up at this point is tough to say, but at this point in the window I think a season-long loan spell is the likeliest of possibilities for Hart and the club.
A lot can happen in two weeks. We’ll just have to wait and see who remains in a City shirt once the curtain closes on the summer transfer window.
Written by Matt Foster
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